The opposite of social distancing | Sightseeing | Chicago Reader

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The opposite of social distancing

Photos from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century show Chicago in love and at play.

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As Chicagoans today are—for very good reasons—keeping their distance from each other, these unguarded moments from the late 19th and early 20th century are a reminder of the simple joys of the city as the weather gets warmer. 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
  • Library of Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
  • Library of Congress

The photos, taken by the Detroit Publishing Company, one of the largest image publishers in the world at the turn of the century, sometimes show the affectionate side of Chicago. Zooming into high-resolution scans from the Library of Congress, you can sometimes catch couples holding hands, delighted parents watching their children play, and friends sharing a laugh on a crowded beach.  v

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