Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Views of the World, The Chicago Stockyards

I've still got a lot of cards from the flirtation collection to go, so I shouldn't, but I'm going to start another, once in awhile, probably take more than a year to post, collection.  I've had the postcards in this lot since I was in high school, and for those unaware, I'm  just a few months away from my sixtieth birthday.  Yes, I've been picking up old photos and postcards that long.  The numbered images top out at 48, but I am missing numbers 6, 7, and 45.  Every so often I go on EBay, specifically, to look for those three missing cards, but I've never found them.  None of these cards have ever been used, and no publisher is listed.  I'll put views of the world in the labels section at the bottom of the post for all cards in the collection.

I already knew a fair amount about the Chicago Stockyards before posting this image.  I new that the stockyards weren't owned by the big packing companies, but by railroads looking to create a single, central location to ship animals, ready for slaughter.  Chicago had become the main rail center for the United States because the Illinois congressional delegation had pushed Chicago as the terminus for the major American railroads, and congress had that power because the federal government had subsidized early railroad construction.  What surprised me was that the Chicago Stockyards also were a major tourist destination, with viewing platforms built so that people could look over the thousands of animals waiting for death.  I'm always amazed what people are willing to gawk at.  I'd criticize, but if the stockyards were still in business, I'd take a look if I were in the area.

Now, about The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.  I read it in high school, and reread it just a few years ago.  Every American should read this book, and any school that doesn't assign it as mandatory reading, isn't doing it's job.  Do public schools still buy into the great books theory of education?  I hope so, though I doubt it.

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