"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”)



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    

Chicago,illinois-comiskey Park-chicago White Sox Baseball Stadium-c1908 Hj46Rppc Wisconsin Paper Boy With Saturday Blade/chicago Ledger Delivery Bag & Dog 35mm Orig Slide Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Rr #709 & 6 Waukegan Il 1961Mr Fancy Cancel Real Photo Balloon Races Chicago 1908 Postcard #5697Chicago,illinois-wrigley Field-chicago Cubs Baseball Stadium-1939 Linen Hj53Rppc Florence Ave S Of Marianna Chicago West Side Photo Postcard Old Vtg AntiqueRppc Of Chicago-milwaukee Electric R.r. Station A Kruxo Card Circa 1907 - 1920'sChicago Heights,illinois-victoria Hotel-frank Lloyd Wright-louis Sullivan Hj63C.r. Childs Chicago Il '07 Rppc Residences On Ohio St E From Prairie Ave, AustinRare 1933 International Harvester Truck A Century Of Progress Chicago PostcardExceptional 1893 World's Columbian Expo "puck" Chicago Il Multi-colorsChicago, Illinois Postcards - Vintage Lot Of 350Chicago And Southern Airlines Stewardess - Advertising PostcardVtg 1911 Era Art Institute Grant Park Brookins Airplane Antique Chicago IlAntique 1911 Postcard National League Cubs Baseball Park Chicago1¢ Wonders ~ Advertising Studio Postcard W/ "rodney's Boys" Of Chicago ~ #pc41Vintage 1960 Six-pony Hitch Victor Comptometer Co. Chicago Advertising Postcard1977 Chicago Cubs Ernie Banks Program & 8 Vtg Baseball Team Photo Postcards Lot Chicago Illinois Depaul University Auditorium 1946 Rppc Real Photo PostcardReal Photo Postcard~cicero Air Field Chicago Aeroplane~anton Cinotto Rppc~1912Il Chicago Heights / West End Avenue Showing Victoria Hotel35mm Orig Slide Belt Ry Of Chicago Bicentennial Caboose 210 Bedford Park Il 1976Dr Jim Stamps Us Ymca Hotel Chicago Illinois Postcard Linen ColortoneDr Jim Stamps Us Elephants Field Museum Natural History Chicago Souvenir CardDr Jim Stamps Us Tribune Tower Chicago Postcard Ct American 19261908 Tucks F.earl Christy Of King Diamonds "college Kings" "chicago" PostcardPostcards - Milwaukee Road, New Union Station In Chicago C.1920'sChicago Il~drake's Restaurant Interior~lunch Counter~n State Street~1950 LinenLincoln Park Zoo Chicago Tigers - C. 1910 PostcardEarly Rppc Calumet Ave At 61st Dentist Street Scene Chicago Illinois IlChicago Illinois Palmer House The Trader's Restaurant - Rppc Real Photo PostcardChicago~willow Springs Il~oh Henry Ballroom Interior~art Deco Linen 1944 PcDouglas Wyoming 1980 Chicago North Western Train Depot Real Photo Pc Z30269Chicago, Il - Lot Of 48 Vintage PostcardsChicago,illinois-auditorium Theatre-interior-louis Sullivan,architect-c1908 Hj72Vintage Underground Railroad Chicago Illinois Embossed Unposted Standard PostcarIllinois Il Chicago Museum Science Industry British Spitfire Postcard Old ViewChicago And Southern Airlines Dixieliner Dc-4 Airplane PostcardShip Tuck Series 2323 Uss Navy Cruiser Chicago Post Card Not Postally Used NavalVintage Aerial View Of The Loop Chicago Illinois Lake Michigan Picture Postcard Polar Bears, Lincoln Park Zoo Lot 2 C1910 Chicago Illinois, Vintage PostcardPostcard: Bink's Spraying Machine Co, Chicago Il, Traction Machine ViewChicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, Wheat Harvesting In Washington Wa PostcardDr Jim Stamps Us Dearborn Street Railroad Station Chicago Linen PostcardIllinois Il Chicago Great Whiteway Randolph Street Wabash Avenue Postcard Old PcAd Chicago Southern Air Lines Douglas Dixieliners Postcard Old Vintage Card ViewIllinois Il Chicago Stadium Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Souvenir PcWhite Border Postcard, Rush Street Bridge In Chicago, Illinois Dr Jim Stamps Us You Lucky Dog Lady Postcard Chicago Canal Station 1912City Of Chicago Postcard Album C1906-30 (80 Cards) Industry-worlds Fair-rr DepotBlack Americana - Jean Baptiste Point De'saible First Settler Of Chicago Il PcPostcard 1908 Figure Eight Roller Coaster Riverview Park Chicago IllinoisFreeport Illinois~stephenson Street @ Chicago~bengston's Jewelers~1912 PostcardVintage Collectible Jumbo Postcard Edgewater Beach Hotel-lake Mich., ChicagoChicago Rppc Museum Of Science & Industry Workers In The Coal Mine Soldiers Field Museum Chicago Illinois Postcard Lake Front Burnham Park Vintage Vintage Postcard Lot Chicago Ill - Romantic Couple Love Moon Light ValentinesOld Postcard,chicago Illinois The Tribune Tower Night Scene 1941 Postmark Linen1957 Chicago Illinois Postcard Folder 14 Views Curt TeichIllinois Il Chicago Lost Railroads Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Post