Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : Water in Chicago
Essay: People and the Port
Photo Essays:
Solitary Lives
City of Bridges
Chicago Harbors
Essay: Using the Chicago River
Photo Essays:
Goose Island
Indiana Dunes
Essay: Sanitation in Chicago
Photo Essays:
The Sanitary and Ship Canal
Water-Related Epidemics
Essay: Water and Urban Life
Photo Essays:
Houses and Water
Shoreline Development
Growing Up Along Water
Houses and Water

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Emergence of Plumbers and Specialized Fixtures

L. Wolff Manufacturing Company, Plumbing Goods, 1912

By the early twentieth century, Chicago enterprises such as L. Wolff Manufacturing Company manufactured and marketed plumbing goods of every description. With factory offices on the Near West Side and showrooms in the Loop, the Wolff Company offered builders bathroom fixtures including baths, water closets, and more.

See also: Construction; Building Trades and Workers

Montgomery Ward & Co., Economy in Plumbing, 1918

By 1918, demand for plumbing extended beyond the reach of urban water and sewerage systems. Mail order enterprises, like Montgomery Ward & Company, offered consumers self-contained systems which could bring the urban amenity of indoor plumbing to country houses as well. Slowly, indoor plumbing became a part of houses in any location, not just in those located within urban, or suburban, water districts. This catalogue was designed to sell indoor plumbing beyond the bounds of urban systems.

See also: Mail Order

Crane Company Plumbing & Heating Pamphlet, 1956

By the 1950s, Crane Company was one of the leading producers of plumbing and heating equipment in the U.S. Headquartered in Chicago, the company manufactured valves, fittings, pipes, kitchens, plumbing, and heating. Crane's products were part of the post-World War II building boom that took place on Chicago’s Southwest and Northwest Sides, as well as in the suburbs.

See also: Construction; Built Environment of the Chicago Region

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