Monday, September 17, 2007

Economic Growth in late 19th century ...

Click on the image for enlarged view ...

Major factors contributing to its meteoric rise are the basic factors...
- Infrastructure [ Development of canals & railroads ]
- Industries [ especially meat-packing & steel industries ]
- Finance [opening of Chicago Board of Trade - CBOT]

I have just discussed how the development of Illinois and Michigan Canal made Chicago an important center on the midwest ...
Some other contributing facts are ...

The development of railroads began in Chicago 1848 ....
By 1850 – there was only one railroad passing through the city; “The Galena & Chicago Union Railroad”. By 1852, there were 5 and by 1856 – there were 10 railroads, totaling 300 miles of track. The opening of Union Station in 1881 further consolidated Chicago’s position as the hub of the Midwest!

The Gold Rush - When gold was found in California in 1848 – it proved to be the first great impetus for migration to the Far West regions of America and proved to be a boon to Chicago as it now emerged as an important transit & trading center.

Meat Packing Industry
It’s perhaps the most-important industry in the development of Chicago.
# the establishment of “Union Stock Yards” in 1865 made Chicago a livestock center.
# the development of “refrigerated railroad cars”- made long distance transport possible without much spoilage. The utilization of ice in meat packing plants increased the meat-production. Before this time, the disassembly plants [meat production and distribution facilities], had to shut down in the hot summer months. Increased operating months created hundreds of thousands of new man-hours in which people could work. This increased the demand for “unskilled labor” – contributing to the growth of immigrants and working class in the city ….
# By 1862 Chicago had displaced Cincinnati, Ohio as "Porkopolis".
# The Civil War [1861-65] increased the demand for food products and Chicago's vast transportation system ensured that goods could be delivered to soldiers quickly all over the northern United States …

Steel Industry
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Chicago became one of the world's leading centers of steel production. It helped in the development of railroads, ships, skyscrapers and bridges and also employed immigrant workers in large numbers.

The Chicago Board of Trade
In 1848 Chicago built its first grain elevator, and the Chicago Board of Trade [CBOT] was established. In fact Modern day futures and commodity trading markets were pioneered in Chicago at CBOT. Some even argue that the grain elevators built were Chicago's first skyscrapers. The trade in livestock, lumber, and grains laid down the financial basis for Chicago's growth.

1 comment:

marry said...

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