Postcard: A historical glimpse into the reversal of the Chicago River

(Video Slideshow)

July 13, 2011

By Maham Khan


Front and Center examines the critical issues surrounding the Great Lakes region, including it's changing waters. In the early 1900s, the reversal of the Chicago River instigated ecological issues that are effecting lives in the Great lakes region even today. Now, discussion sparks the possibility of un-reversing the river to once again control the flow and prevent invasive species.

This video postcard offers a glimpse into history, illustrating the life around the Chicago River when it was reversed. These photographs were provided by Michael Williams and Richard Cahan from their upcoming book "The Lost Panoramas: When Chicago Changed Its River and the Land Beyond." They are  part of 20,000 or more, glass-plate negatives that are now in the possession of the Illinois State Archives. A few of the photographs have never been published before.