lard, 410,688,319 ℔; of pork, 191,371 bbl.; of other hog products, 600,503,394 ℔. The combined tonnage in and out averaged 14,135,406 tons. There is a large direct trade with Europe, mainly in goods that come in bond by rail from Atlantic ports. In 1907 the value of Chicago’s imports was $27,058,662, and of its exports, $5,643,302.
The value of manufactures (from establishments under the “factory system”) in 1900 was $797,879,141, 71.2% of all those of Illinois, and in 1905 was $955,036,277, 67.7% of all those of the state; in both these years Chicago was second only to New York City. Wholesale slaughtering and meat-packing (not including many by-products), valued at $256,527,949 (32.2% of the city’s total) in 1900 and at $269,581,486 (28.2% of the total) in 1905, are the most important of the city’s industries; in 1905 the product value in Chicago was 29.5% of that for the slaughtering and meat-packing of the entire United States. Other important manufactures are foundry and machine shop products, $44,561,071 in 1900, and $51,774,695 in 1905; and other iron and steel products, $35,058,700 in 1900 and $27,074,307 in 1905; clothing ($58,093,572 in 1900, and $64,913,481 in 1905); cars and other railway construction, $28,369,956 in 1900 and $36,080,210 in 1905; malt liquors ($14,956,865 in 1900, and $16,983,421 in 1905), and furniture ($12,344,510 in 1900 and $17,488,257 in 1905). The Illinois Steel Company has the largest rolling mills in the world. The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company is the largest concern in the world manufacturing agricultural implements. Pullman in southern Chicago, in the sparsely settled outskirts of the city, is a model little “labour town,” planned and constructed with regard for both appearances and conveniences by the Pullman Palace Car Company, which has its works here. The town consists mainly of workmen’s cottages. Most of the population are dependent upon the car works. The Pullman Company owns and operates dining and sleeping cars on practically all the railways of the country. In addition to its own cars it builds ordinary passenger and freight cars on contract.
Meat-packing is the greatest local industry and is that for which Chicago is best known. In the enormous stock-yards from two-thirds to four-fifths of the cattle and hogs received are killed, and sent out in various forms of prepared meats and by-products (lard, fertilizers, glue, butterine, soap, candles, &c). This industry is remarkable for the extraordinary division of labour in its processes. In the preparation of a bullock more than thirty specialties are involved, and some twenty different rates of pay. This system enabled the packing companies, until checked by the development of labour unions, to save money not only by paying low wages for crude labour and high for skilled, but to develop wonderful expertness in every line, and so “speed up” the workmen to a remarkable pace. No more interesting field can be found for the study of the qualities of foreign races. The introduction of the refrigerator railway car in the ’seventies of the 19th century, making possible the distant marketing of dressed meats, enormously increased the business. The workmen of the yards were organized in a national union of meat packers in 1897, and all the different classes of workmen have their separate organizations, formed mainly between 1900 and 1902. The number of women employed more than doubled in the decade 1891–1900, constituting probably about 9% of the total in the latter year.
Administration.—Chicago is governed under a general city-charter law of Illinois of 1870, accepted by the city in 1875. In November 1904 the people of Illinois adopted a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature of the state to provide a complete new system of local government for Chicago, but the old system continued and is here described, the new charter, from which so much had been hoped, being rejected by the voters of the city by an overwhelming majority in September 1907. A common council chosen by wards and renewed in half each year controls the budget, police, liquor licences, city contracts and the granting of franchises; it also confirms appointments made by the mayor and by a vote of two-thirds may pass legislation over his veto. The mayor, chosen for four years, is the executive head of the city, and has large power of appointment and removal, limited by a civil service law, under which he must submit reasons for removals, while two-thirds of the council may prevent them. On the other hand the mayor can veto separate items in the council’s budget. The administrative departments are generally headed by single commissioners; but those of elections, education and the public library are exceptions. The council was once all important, but as early as the charter of 1851 it began to lose power to the mayor, whose directive and executive powers have steadily increased, beginning first in the financial department. Administration was once performed entirely by boards as in other American cities: every specific problem or demand for municipal activity was met by an appeal to the state legislature for special legislation and the creation of a board. The substitution of single commissioners began in 1876. The state constitution of 1870 forbade special legislation, prescribed a general city charter law and forbade special amendatory acts for Chicago. This stopped grave abuses, but because a large part of the state has not been interested in Chicago’s special needs and demands for betterment it also saddled upon the city an organization which in 1901 remained practically the same as in 1870, when Chicago was an overgrown town of 300,000 inhabitants. Chicago was the only large city of the state, and a charter generalized from village experience was unsuitable for it. The parts of Cook county outside the city have also been very jealous of forwarding its reorganization, important features of which must be either, the complete absorption of the county or at least the reconstitution of the county government, which the constitution left unchanged, and which, with the city’s growth, has caused clash of interests and authority. Nor is this dual government—though the city has above nine-tenths of the population and pays nine-tenths of the taxes of the county—the only anomaly. Illinois has had since 1848 a modified New England “township” local-government system, and various townships have been absorbed by Chicago, yet they all retained till after 1900 their political structure and some of their functions. There are three park commissions, two appointed by the governor and one by circuit court judges, created for different parts of the old city, differently constituted and all independent of the city; their jurisdiction was not enlarged as the city grew, so large portions remained free of charges for parks and boulevards. A special park commission now supplements them and lessens this anomaly though increasing administrative diversity. A sanitary and drainage district, not larger than the city area but quite different from it, was created in 1886 (present form 1890) to carry through the drainage canal. The school board has been nominally separate from and almost independent of the city government in power since 1857. The courts of law are courts of the state of Illinois, but a certain number of justices of the peace are designated by the mayor to act as police magistrates. The initiative and referendum in local matters has been made possible under a state law, and has been several times exercised in important questions. Financial arrangements have been loose and inefficient. Independent taxing power has been lavishly granted. State, county, city, three park boards, the school board, the public library board, the drainage board, and as late as 1903 ten townships, exercised this sovereign right within the municipal area. Tax assessment
- This is for the entire Chicago customs district, including Waukegan and Michigan City.
- The number of hogs packed yearly averaged 7,255,245 in 1900–1904; the cattle packed, 1,955,765; the sheep shipped (partly live), 616,476 (one-fifth those received).
- e.g. in the most skilled labour, the speed was increased 87.5% from 1884–1894. In 1905 a gang of 230 men would dispose of 105 animals hourly; equivalent to 131 minutes for one man in taking the animal from pen to refrigerator; the average wage was $0.21 per hour (highest 0.50) and the average cost per bullock, $0.46.
- Cook county is Republican in politics generally, the rural districts being so strongly so as often to overbalance the normal Democratic plurality in Chicago. Thus another ground of jealousy is found In the distribution of county offices.
- An amendment of 1904 provided that the legislature should enact the consolidation of the townships with the city in matters of taxation, but no further steps had been taken to the end of 1907.