• Creator
  • Chicago City Hydraulic Company
  • Created Date
  • 8-19-02
  • Description
  • This water pipe is two sections of hollowed-out wooden logs connected by a smaller wooden tube that bisects the center of each log. The dimensions of the two large wooden logs are ten inches in diameter. The smaller connecting tube is five inches in diameter. Fort Dearborn was built in 1803 on the site where the Chicago River flowed into Lake Michigan (now Michigan Avenue at Wacker Drive). At the beginning of the nineteenth century, settlers u... more
    This water pipe is two sections of hollowed-out wooden logs connected by a smaller wooden tube that bisects the center of each log. The dimensions of the two large wooden logs are ten inches in diameter. The smaller connecting tube is five inches in diameter. Fort Dearborn was built in 1803 on the site where the Chicago River flowed into Lake Michigan (now Michigan Avenue at Wacker Drive). At the beginning of the nineteenth century, settlers used the river to supply their water needs. Chicago had only 350 residents when the town was first chartered in 1833. Within a year Chicago’s population mushroomed to over 2,000 residents. The village trustees arranged for the construction of a public well at Hubbard Street and Wabash Avenue. Residents carried water home in buckets from this well. Peddlers carried water in mule-drawn carts, selling it door to door for ten cents a barrel. In 1842 the Chicago City Hydraulic Company, a private organization, started a water distribution system with a pumping station and several thousand feet of wooden water pipes. The system cost approximately $24,000. The intake pipe for the system extended 150 feet into Lake Michigan off Lake Street. The water was conveyed by means of a steam driven twenty-five horsepower pump in a station at Michigan Avenue to an elevated tank from which it flowed by gravity through wooden pipes beneath the streets. There were problems with fish clogging the pipes, filthy water after storms, and ice during the winter. In 1852 the Chicago Hydraulic Company was purchased by the City of Chicago. By 1861 the Chicago Water System consisted of about six hundred feet of wooden intake pipes extending from Lake Michigan to the suction wells of the pumping station. The wooden intake pipes released water into elevated wrought iron reservoirs, each with a capacity of one-half million gallons. 4,842,000 gallons were pumped daily from these reservoirs, providing water for 120,000 residents. These wooden pipe sections are typical of those that made up urban plumbing systems in the United States during the late nineteenth century. They were unearthed at North Clinton and Kinzie Streets on June 2, 1902. How we learn about communities. 16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society. less
  • Format
  • WATERPIP.jpg