Month: May 2017

Origins of Chicago

Like Melbourne, Chicago was swapped from the first peoples. Not only did they both lose their “rights” they were moved off by the newcomers……..

It appears the Native Americans called the area ‘shikaakwa’ which may have meant smelly skunk, or smelly onion (which they now call ramps?). And the French explorer Robert de La Salle  translated to Checagou.

We have “onion weed” here, I wonder if it is the same thing?

chicago sb3

Twinkies are not a huge thing over her. Sure I have heard of them and even tasted one and thought, “gee how did this survive the trip and still be ‘edible’?”.

I found it interesting the original filling was banana flavoured!

 

Chicago Symposium part 2

I have booked a few things in Chicago to do first up, dot he tilt on The 360″ view . I’m not so worried about the wind of the windy city. I have also learnt  it was called the Windy City because the people  from other states of the US felt Chicago bragged about itself so much. Seems fair enough that they bragged about their city.

The way it grew, then aftet he city destroying fire grew up again. But I was going to put string on my hat to keep it on when the wind came from the prairies.

But the bragging worked, they got the Columbian Exposition, where the first successful zipper was released, even if poorly drawn. 

More wind would alos have been produced through blowing bubbles in Chewing gum. Didn’t everyone start chewy with juicy fruit (or as I drew juicy frutt!)? Then you grow up and try PK.  I nearly forgot the And I am also looking forward to going to watch the baseball at Wrigley stadium. I nearly forgot about the spearmint sticks wrapped in alfoil. and then the kids who tried to trick you with the fake chewy packs with the mouse trap like contraption that hit your finger when you pulled it out…….


Although I could have drawn Walt Disney, but the first animated film was Gertie the dinosaur, by Winsor McCay a silent film you can see on the internet, and compare my drawing… although it looks dated you have to remember it was revolutionary and is highly regarded by the people who came afterwards.

Also Chicago was the place of the first McDonalds franchise. NOT the first store….
McDonalds was a treat place when it first came to the suburbs here. The store I went to as a kid is still in the same place, but changed building completely. Don’t remember muchat 15c. Since then I have had McDonalds in every State of Australia, Singapore, USA, Thailand, my son was a very picky eater….(well that’s my excuse..)

Version 4

I grew up with only 5 TV stations, Donald O’Connor (from Chicago) was always on (OK…often…) when the movies were showing, on weekends or during the week when I was sick at home as a kid or no school was on etc. I loved his humour, non offensive, he wasnt the lead good looking guy but I still related to him. Another TV icon from Chicago was Raquel Welch. My dad loved her so if she was on , we saw her…..He also loved the Lone Ranger……..

Bob Newhart was also a comedian I related to, he didnt have to be rude, oftne he didnt need another actor. His driving instructor sketch is one his more famous.

Harrison Ford is also from Chicago. I am a huge fan, Star wars, Indianna Jones, Blade Runner and I can’t read a Tom Clancy “Jack Ryan” book without seeing Harrison in the role.

Down the bottom left of the above page I drew quickly the “Raising of the City”.  Now I think of it as Reblocking but instead of reblocking your house they raised WHOLE buildings, at times with people in it ……They had hundreds of workers helping to slowly rise feet off ground (below water ) level, while they tried to reorganise the cities drainage, sewrage etc. in 1857!!!!!

And as someone said, I put the weiner mobile in as well. I am looking forward to trying my Chicago Hot Dog- WITHOUT sauce/Ketchup!!!! and it makes sense why they don’t add it. NOt sure why? Apparently suace is a combination of all the flavours they already put on their hotdog so why spoil it……

2 months 7 days……..until I fly in.

Chicago symposium 

Later in the year I am off to Chicago & New York for the Urban sketchers Symposium. I knew very little about Chicago.

I knew there was a major fire, they have an elevated rail, they are on a lake….. and the music scene, autos etc. 

so I have been reading Donald L Mille’s book city of the century, the making of Chicago, first 100 years.  


Certainly a go getter place with many firsts, with a bevy of people who came and made their mark on a frontier town which grew into the symposium hosts (and a lot more). It’s a grid city just like Melbourne, so it’s nice to compare the layout to my capital.


I have sketched a few of the personalites, the grid city and a few other things that have tickled my fancy about Chicago.

 I am going to mark the map where I have been during my trip, although I will still get a few maps when I’m there. It looks like I’ll be around the “loop” for most of the time. 

But what of chicago have I noted. Quite a few firsts, including sky scrapers and the use of concrete over metal to strengthen it . The Pullman carriages, I thought were whole trains but they only built carriages…and strangely a town. Sounds like George Pullman was bit of a control freak, I think he meant well but….. so here’s a quick sketch of him from a photo.
Burnham & Root were involved in building the first skyscrapers and then Burnham ran the Columbian exposition, and then died I quickly after…. it was called the Columbian for the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery. 

Here’s Burnham and Root.


The elevator was shown to be safe at the expo by Mr Otis. and sales took off allowing skyscrapers to be built as they were now scalable. Root and Burnham considered the first skyscraper architects. Looking forward to seeing the buildings of theirs that are still there.

The first Ferris wheel was built for the expo. And melted down later…….each car held 60 people. Still the worlds largest Ferris wheel ever built!

The first ever Ferris wheel, built by a young Ferris, to rival the Eiffel Tower, made with similar amount of metal.


Many women were involved in the development of Chicago ( later in the 1800s), as business women and philanthropists. I loved this pic and had to draw it of Bertha who some called the socialite queen of the expo. She also had the first ever “brownies” made for her to entertain guests.

In her husbands will, he was leaving a fair amount of money to whoever her next husband was going to be…….”because he will need it!”

Bertha Palmer

The Pullman sleeping carriage was a first which went from Chicago to the world. Melbourne had 3 Pullman carriages for the southern aurora, but they were too heavy and were kept at Newport workshop in storage for years. 


There is a heck of a lot more so more later.