Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : The Plan of Chicago
The Plan of Chicago
Chicago in 1909
Planning Before the Plan
Antecedents and Inspirations
The City the Planners Saw
The Plan of Chicago
The Plan Comes Together
Creating the Plan
Reading the Plan
A Living Document
Two Kinds of Factories
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Pictured below are workers in two of turn-of-the-century Chicago's leading industries, meatpacking and clothing manufacture, in two different kinds of factory settings.

Canning Room, 1890s


While the conditions are far from ideal, canning was a less objectionable job than many others in the meatpacking industry. All but one of the workers in this photograph appear to be female, and most are quite young.

See also: Business of Chicago; The Jungle ; Meatpacking

Gerard and Rabe Clothing Manufacturers


The workers, and perhaps the owners, have their picture taken outside the storefront factory. Most of the workers are again female, and, as in the canning factory, they are very likely immigrants. The man alone on the extreme right beyond the sign for the Chow Shing Chinese laundry appears to be himself Chinese. The Gerard & Rabe factory was located at what was, by Chicago's old street numbering system, 377 W. Chicago Avenue, which now corresponds to 1413 W. Chicago, just west of Noble Street on the Northwest Side.

See also: Clothing and Garment Manufacturing; Unionization