1871 Map of Chicago Fire
Appraised Value: $900 - $1,200
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:07)
Prints & Posters
The Philadelphia Print Shop West
APPRAISER: This is a map showing the burnt district of Chicago. How did you get this?
GUEST: I acquired it about 17 years ago at an Ann Arbor antique show in Michigan.
APPRAISER: In Michigan, but because you're from the Chicago area.
GUEST: It caught my eye, and I think since then I've started to collect Chicago things.
APPRAISER: Well, that's great. And that's what a lot of people like is local information like this. What this did was it provided information. Back in the 1870s,they didn't have television, so the way information was spread around was from printed images like this. And this map actually, as it says down here, was printed in Cincinnati, Ohio. And you also brought in a little guide down here about the great fire that was done in Racine. That's to the north of here and this is way to the south, and that's because people around the country wanted to know what was going on with this great fire in Chicago. These things were done in the thousands, so they were up and down, all over across America. But people didn't treat them with great care because they were just like a newspaper or something. They may stick it up on their wall, or you can see this one has a lot of folds, maybe it was folded up and stuck in a drawer and that's why it survived. It's got the circles that shows the spread from where the fire started; the wind blew it to the north up here. It shows all the area that was burnt. It has all sorts of information on it-- it lets us see it as they saw it at the time. One thing I want to tell you, if you look down here, you've got the splitting.
APPRAISER: You should probably have this de-acidified and lined. Over the years, the acid will have gone to the paper. And lining-- what it does is it strengthens the whole back. It doesn't need cleaning. The stains and things are fine.
APPRAISER: Now, what did you pay for this?
GUEST: I paid $75 for the map and the book.
APPRAISER: And the booklet?
APPRAISER: Well, the booklet doesn't have a lot of value, but the map itself, I would have It in my shop for probably about $900 to $1,200.
APPRAISER: Yeah, yeah. It's just such a wonderful thing.
GUEST: Oh, I didn't think that much.
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