On April 25, 1946, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad’s high-speed passenger train, the Exposition Flyer, rammed into the Advance Flyer in Naperville, Illinois. Forty-five people died, and 125 people were injured in the collision. Naperville residents, like the employees of Kroehler Furniture Factory and students from North Central College, volunteered to help the injured, while emergency workers traveled from neighboring communities to assist in recovery efforts.
An Illinois divorce case made national headlines in early 1860. Isaac Howe Burch, a prominent Chicago banker and real estate investor, sued his wife Mary Weld Turner Burch on the grounds of adultery.
Illinois-based Kroehler Manufacturing Company was one of the largest upholstered furniture manufacturers in the world for 80 years. It had major influence on the buying habits of the American public. The Naperville company sponsored a traveling exhibit of twelve miniature rooms, “Four Generations of Furniture Fashion.” Commissioned by Kroehler and E.I. DuPont de Nemours in the mid 1960s, the exhibit traveled widely through the late 1970s to stores and shopping centers that carried Kroehler furniture.
In 1893, Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition—an epic event that drew nearly 27 million attendees from around the world. The fair celebrated art, architecture, social issues, agriculture, and technology through various exhibitions and displays, providing visitors with both entertainment and educational opportunities.
In the 1930s, Illinois fast food entrepreneurs Earl Prince and Walter Fredenhagen found that existing soda fountain machines were not up to the task of mixing their Prince Castle “One in a Million” malted milkshakes. A heavy-duty, centrally-mounted, motor-driven, individual mixing shaft solved the problem, and the Multimixer was born.
This is Abraham Lincoln’s portable shaving mirror. He used it riding the 8th Illinois Judicial Circuit prior to his presidency. Made from stained oak, it could be folded and neatly tucked away in its self-contained wooden, rectangular case.
There are only four surviving copies of this 1818 map of Illinois, which was printed in Philadelphia. John Melish produced it from surveys in the General Land Office and a few other sources. Produced only a few months before Illinois achieved statehood, the map reflects the priorities of early settlement, highlighting military bounty lands granted to War of 1812 veterans in color.
This is one of only five surviving copies of the Gettysburg Address in Abraham Lincoln’s own hand. He originally gave it to Edward Everett soon after the Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication. Everett was the main speaker that day, giving a two-hour address.
This note was written by the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church), Joseph Smith, during his time in Nauvoo, Illinois.
The Illinois Herald was the first newspaper published in the Illinois Territory and a key voice in pushing for statehood. Although it was based in the territorial capital at Kaskaskia from May 1814 to April 1816, only this December 13, 1814, issue survives.