Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : Globalization: Chicago and the World
Globalization: Chicago and the World
Essay: Introduction
Essay: Chicago in the Middle Ground
Map: Chicago's World¬óWithin a Day's Travel
Essay: Global Chicago
Galleries:
Colonial Trans-Atlantic Networks
A Cosmopolitan Frontier
Global Capitalism and Chicago Real Estate
Built Environment in a Mercantile Metropolis
Networks of Rails
World's Columbian Exposition of 1893
Turn-of-the-Century Industrialization and International Markets
The Chicago Region and Its Global Models
An Upstart Behemoth
Mailing To the World
The World in Chicago
Chicago's Twentieth-Century Cultural Exports
"The Whole World Is Watching"
Corporate Headquarters and Industrial Relics
Map: Changing Origins of Metropolitan Chicago's Foreign-Born Population
Galena & Chicago Union Station, c. 1849
Return to "Global Chicago"

Chicago's first railroad depot, the Galena & Chicago Union, stood on Kinzie Street just north of the Chicago River. The telegraph poles suggest that this photo was taken several years after 1848. By the early 1850s the railroads had drawn nearly all passenger traffic away from the canal. Freight traffic by both canal and rail provided a significant boost to Chicago as an agricultural entrepot, and the rapid development of the railroad network and of midwestern farms in the 1850s enabled Chicago's commodities market to grow to unprecedented levels of activity. The Board of Trade, little more than a club for businessmen in its first few years, began regulating the grading of grain by the end of the 1850s. Twenty years later its innovative futures market would begin to transform the economics of agricultural production and distribution.