Chicago, Ill. Conflagration on Tuesday July 14th Scene on Wabash Avenue, Near Harrison Street


A contemporary view of Chicago’s ‘Forgotten Fire.’

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Just three years after much of the city’s commercial district was consumed by the Great Fire, another blaze erupted on Chicago’s southside. The ‘Forgotten Fire’ of 1874 highlighted inadequate changes in construction materials, firefighting science, and zoning policy. Ultimately it was the insurance companies who forced through necessary updates by threatening to withhold coverage from businesses within the city.

This view of the Forgotten Fire was issued in the August 1, 1874 issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper – about two weeks after the conflagration. It shows panicked residents fleeing down Wabash Avenue, the air thick with smoke. Wagons and sidewalks are crowded with household goods and items of value as people did all they could to protect their belongings from being consumed by fire.


Map Details

Publication Date: 1874

Author: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper

Sheet Width (in): 15.5

Sheet Height (in): 10.5

Condition: B-

Condition Description: Heavily chipped with significant paper loss around the outer edges. Loss in the title and caption as a result. The image remains intact and exhibits attractive hand color.


1 in stock