"Late one night, when we were all in bed,
Old Mother Leary left a lantern in the shed,
And when the cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and said,
'There'll be a HOT time on the old town tonight.'"
-from a popular children’s song

The legend of the much-maligned Mrs. O’Leary and the start of The Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8, 1871 is so widespread that many people take the unsubstantiated rumor as fact. It’s not surprising that the subject of the devastating blaze and fire-fighting made its way onto many vintage postcards.

Fortunately, Chicago was able to rebuild itself in time to host the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, beating out New York City, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The event honored the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ landing in America. Forty years later, the city put on the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, focusing on scientific achievements, like the development of electric power.

Chicago is also home to major sports teams, including two major-league baseball teams, the White Sox and the Cubs. Their famous ballparks Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field were erected in 1910 and 1914, respectively.

The manufacturing and transportation hub of the U.S. for over a century, Chicago is full of iconic places and storied characters like 21-year Mayor Richard Joseph Daley and Prohibition-era mob boss Al Capone. The 110-story Sears Tower, built in 1974 and now known as the Willis Tower, was once the tallest building in the world—it remains the tallest building in the United States.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Carthalia

Carthalia

Andreas Praefcke's postcard collection of theatres and concert halls worldwide. Showcases 3700 images of over 1810 … [read review or visit site]

Tall Tale Postcards

Tall Tale Postcards

Don't let this one get away from you. This 'unbelievable' collection, from the Wisconsin Historical Society, featur… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Worlds Columbian Exposition Lot Of 3 Unused Postal Cards Chicago Fair 18931920 Japanese Baseball Postcard Chicago University Waseda Vintage Photo AmericaRppc Postcard Pine Avenue Austin Chicago Illinois Charles Childs Photo Studio PcChicago Il~uptown Station~rapid Transit & North Shore Line~policeman @ Door~1928Rppc Of Street Car In Chicago. Il Circa 1910Baseball Stadium Linen Postcards Mlb Lot Of 5 Boston Brooklyn Chicago CincinnatiRppc Real Photo Postcard Passenger Ship S.s. Eastland Disaster Chicago River PcVintage Postcard Of Chicago Cubs' Westside Ballpark - 1911(#570) Great Northern Railroad Empire Buildr Train Pm 1949 Chicago Fair PostcardChicago And Southern Dc-3 Airline Issue Postcard3 Card Lot, World's Fair, Expo, Chicago, Illinois, 1934, Firestone Tire, Nash!Old Koehler Hold To Light Htl Postcard Of The Palmer House In Chicago1912 Rppc Real Photo C & A Depot Williamsville Il Chicago & Alton Rr Real Photo Postcard Main St. Halsted St. Chicago Illinois Stores People Wagons3 Card Lot, Railroad Trains, Lines, Chicago Fair 1949. England, Northwestern!Illinois Il Chicago Stock Yards Bird's Eye View Postcard Old Vintage Card ViewDr Jim Stamps Us 12th Street Depot Chicago Postcard 1908Wilson Beach Chicago 1910's Rppc Old Cars, Canoes, Bathers, Mardi Gras CarnivalRppc West Liberty Iowa Fair Horse Race Chicago W Liberty & Council Bluffs Rr RpoRppc~1909~chicago,il,illinois~60 W Walton Street~newberry Library~fountain~parkAntique 1913 Little Girl Easter Bunny Egg Card P.v. Volland & Co. Chicago U.s.a.Postcard - Illinois - Chicago - Lexington HotelPostcard Photo Cross Section Redwood Museum Science Industry Chicago #5966(#561) Cb&q Burlington Railroad Twin Zephyrs Train Pm 1949 Chicago Fair PostcardDes Moines, Ia Chicago & Northwestern Railway StationNoblespirit No Reserve 3909/58 Desirable Illinois &chicago Vintage Postcard CollDr Jim Stamps Us Masonic Symbol Postcard Chicago 1908 Flag CancelDr Jim Stamps Us Lady In Hat Gartner & Bender Postcard Chicago 1912Illinois Il Chicago Board Of Trade Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard PostDr Jim Stamps Us Jackson Park New Life Saving Station Postcard 1914 Chicago1912 Lake City, Mn - C.m.& St.p Depot - Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul Train StationVintage Post Card Tom Mix Does A Little Whittling 1929 Exhibit Sup. Co. ChicagoVintage Postcard King Joy Lo Company Restaurant Chicago Illinois Interior View2 Chicago El Elevated Train Through The Loop/union Loop At Van Buren & Wabash3 Views Of Chicago StockyardsVintage Post Cards Chicago.9 Cards In Envelope,fred Harvey Picts. No Folds/stainEarly View - State Street Looking North From Adams - Chicago, IllinoisSwedish Style Knit & Gift Shops Chicago Illinois Multiview Vintage PostcardIl-chicago World's Fair-international Expo-pylons-hall Of Social Science-h66791Dr Jim Stamps Us First Christian Science Church Chicago Postcard 1911Illinois Il Chicago Blackstone Main Restaurant Postcard Old Vintage Card View PcIllinois Il Chicago Northwestern Passenger Station Postcard Old Vintage Card PcIllinois Il Chicago Paris Streets Entrance Postcard Old Vintage Card View PostIllinois Il Chicago Blackstone Lobby Entrance Postcard Old Vintage Card View PcIllinois Il Chicago Merchandise Mart Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard PcIllinois Il Chicago Grant Park Buckingham Fountain Night Postcard Old Vintage PcIllinois Il Chicago Post Office Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard SouvenirDr Jim Stamps Us Potter Palmer Home Lake Shore Drive Chicago PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Great Northern Hotel & Office Bldg Postcard Chicago IllinoisDr Jim Stamps Us Pretty Lady And A Wolf Comic Postcard Chicago IllinoisRppc Rp Hammond Ind Hohman St. Looking N. Bakery Wagon Chicago 1908 Childs PhotoChicago, Il Museum Of Science & Industry Postcard AgrisphereComic Postcard 1933 Silk Stockings Garter Belt Chicago A Century Of ProgressChicago Illinois~lewis Memorial Maternity Hospital~birth Announcement~c'30s RppcChicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Pile Driver Colmar Illinois Rppc 1910-18 Era Real Photo Street Scene Apartment House Cornell Ave Chicago IllinoisPostcard The Fair Department Store, Chicago, Illinois - Circa 1908Chicago Illinois Boston Oyster House Waiter Portrait Antique Postcard K24282Chicago, Il: John Mccurdy Biplane Wreck, 1911 International Aviation Meet, RppcVintage Postcard Passenger Ship S.s. Eastland Disaster Chicago River, Max Stein