Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Historic Photos of Christmas in Chicago

Text and captions by Rosemary K. Adams

From the book jacket:

“In Chicago, as wherever Christmas is celebrated, holiday traditions reflect both universal themes and local color, both the spirit of giving and snow-covered State Street. In 1913, Chicago decorated its first civic Christmas tree, while many others arrived on the fabled “Christmas tree ships” of the era. Holiday shoppers crowded the sidewalks in front of stores such as Marshall Field & Company, Santa Claus held the rapt gaze of children, and churches and charities reached out to the needy. So Christmas was then, and so it has remained.”

This fascinating book contains almost 200 photos of the Christmas season as seen through the historic celebrations in Chicago. It certainly takes me back to the days of my childhood, when downtown Akron, Ohio, was a joy to visit. Store windows were decorated with animated characters, while busy shoppers hustled about looking for the perfect gift. And Santa was sure to be on hand to greet young and old.

Yes, looking through these wonderful pictures indeed brings back fond memories. It was a different era. Special gifts were found in the classic department stores, not malls and chain (box) stores. You relished the idea of spending the day walking the streets and smiling at passersby who were on similar missions.

There is such a great mixture in this book – storefronts, houses, portraits, card collections, office buildings, skyscrapers and more. I know you’ll have fun with this book.

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