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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

One of the Busiest Streets in the World

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Underwood & Underwood, ONE OF THE BUSIEST STREETS IN THE WORLD (1903). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Creator Underwood and Underwood Publishers
Context A burgeoning commercial and industrial economy attracted a growing labor market to cities such as Chicago.
Audience Unknown
Purpose To show the urban problem of traffic congestion that resulted from increased business activity and population density

Historical Significance

Chicago's population exploded from 229,000 in 1870 to 1.7 million in 1900 because of job growth in manufacturing and retail, as well as the meatpacking industry that came to dominate the Midwest. Because of Chicago's central location between the East and West coasts, it also became the nation's largest hub for hauling freight along the railroads and one of the busiest ports for shipping goods. The photograph shows the urban traffic congestion when too many people and goods moved along Chicago's State Street in 1903.

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