A Map of Chicago’s Gangland from Authentic Sources Designed to Inculcate the Most Important Principles of Piety and Virtue in Young Persons And Graphically Portray the Evils and Sin of Large Cities
By: Bruce-Roberts Inc.
Date: 1931 (Published) Chicago
Original Size: 22.25 x 27.5 inches (55.9 cm x 70.6 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of the extremely rare "Gangland Map of Chicago," originally published in 1931 by Bruce-Roberts Inc.
This pictorial map depicts Chicago during its notorious era of organized crime in the 1920s and early 1930s. At that time, Chicago’s lawlessness was an object of media fascination, receiving copious coverage in national newspapers and serving as dramatic fodder for many Hollywood scriptwriters.
Its rarity is due to action taken by officials participating in organizing the upcoming World’s Fair. Fearing the map would leave a negative impression on prospective visitors the vast majority of these maps were destroyed before the fair took place.
Themes of death and murder abound on the map, even including the distance legend, which is labeled with shooting, murder and massacre rather than miles or other units of measure, and the compass rose which features a pistol in hand being fired for its northern indicator. Virtually every vignette features scenes of murder, mayhem, drink and/or the production and sale of it, and gambling. Lake Michigan is pictured with aircraft labeled Canadian Special which frequently flew in from Canada loaded with cargoes of cases containing alcoholic beverages ready to be enjoyed by the public in one of the many speakeasies throughout the city.
It was this business of bootlegging alcohol during the prohibition era that propelled gangs in terms of fame, stature, power, influence, and wealth, and violence in a manner never before seen in American society.
Inventory # 10987