Thursday, April 9, 2015

Postal History of Chicago's Northwest Side

Image credit: Leonard Piszkiewicz, Chicago Postal Markings and Postal History, James E. Lee Publishing, 2006.
Irving Park Road PD&C (Processing and Distribution Center) hand stamp and machine cancels, from the author's personal collection.

Map of the Township of Jefferson, 1861, not yet part of Chicago. Encyclopedia of Chicago. www.chicagohistory.org
I'll be giving a talk entitled "Postal History of Chicago's Northwest Side: its history, neighborhoods, and post offices" at a regular meeting of the Chicago Philatelic Society. Its free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 16. 7:00pm
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
3rd Floor (room in the back toward the elevators)

Part 1: Defining Chicago’s Northwest Side, Early Post Offices
Part 2: Growth of Chicago and Suburbs after the Chicago Fire, 1871
Part 3: Peculiar Postal Places on Chicago’s Northwest side

Abstract
As Chicago's early communications infrastructure grew along with its explosive population, United States post offices handled customers' social media and business needs. A system of marine, road, rail and eventually air transportation routes utilized by United States Post Office Department (USPOD, later USPS) facilitated the certainty, security and celerity of the mails. This presentation will discuss the postal history and historiography of Chicago’s Northwest side. The study of neighborhood post offices enhances understanding of neighborhood placenames from the early days of Chicago, the Chicago Fire of 1871, the annexations of 1893, throughout the 20th century and today.

keywords: Jefferson Park, Irving Park, Dunning, Montclare, Norwood Park, Cragin, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, O’Hare Airport, Northwestern Railroad, Dickinson's Tavern, Portage Park