Chicago: J. M. Wing & Co., 1878. 8vo color guidebook, chromolithographic wrappers with gilt. 64 pp., 17 full-page ads, fold-out b&w map (9.5” x 13” plus margins), numerous full-page and other b&w illus. Wrappers printed by the American Oleograph Co. of Milwaukee.
A scarce and wonderfully graphic guidebook to post-fire Chicago, apparently issued by the Palmer House, which is promoted in various advertisements and illustrations.Depicted on the front-wrapper are scenes from a wolf hunt, an 1812 Indian massacre, and the few log buildings that constituted Chicago in 1833. The back wrapper features an illustration of the glorious Palmer House, a Second Empire-style hotel constituting an entire city block. Contents include chapters on the city’s Early History and Location, the Chicago of Today and A Sketch of Chicago Real Estate; a full-page illus. of the U.S. Post Office and Customs House, the Chicago Railway System; Mercy Hospital; Chicago Club; tunnels; stockyards, and more. Among the subjects illustrated are Old Fort Dearborn; the Ladies Entrance to the Palmer House; and Cutting Up Hogs. The Palmer House illustrations include both exterior and interior images of its entrance, kitchen, parlors, bridal chamber, restaurant, reading room, rooftop garden etc. A Palmer House ad on the verso of the fold-out map proclaims it is “The Only Fire Proof Hotel in the U. S.” and lists the multitude of U. S. hotel fires in 1876 and 1877. The “Map of the City of Chicago” was created to accompany this publication, and is a street map ranging from Lake Michigan to the Central Park and Humboldt Boulevards, showing the Northwestern Railroad line, Great Union Stockyards, Southside and Lincoln Parks etc. The majority of the ads promote a variety of railroads, dry goods, canned oysters, fire insurance, and the Leland’s Ocean Hotel in New Jersey. CONDITION: Head of spine chipped, half of lower front hinge split, worn at extremities with closed tears on edges, 2 creased corners with loss, interior clean and sound, very appealing publication.