YashicaMat, 16 March 2011


I find it somewhat amusing that as early as the 1930s, there were companies selling “food products.”

YashicaMat CHI Acros100 RichtersFoodProd01B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois; Near West Side
Camera: YashicaMat EM
Lens: Yashica Yashinon 80mm f/3.5
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

This particular building is Richter’s Food Products, a meat-packing facility on Chicago’s Near West Side – the “food products” they produced were primarily sausages and smoked meats. For those of y’all who aren’t familiar with Chicago’s early history, meat-packing was once one of the major industries in the city. In fact, many of y’all may have heard of the Illinois Institute of Technology; I suspect less of y’all know that IIT started its life as the Armour Institute of Technology – formed by a grant from Philip D. Armour, Sr., who also founded Armour and Company (y’know, the guys who make Armour Hot Dogs).

Anyways, this building was completed in 1933 and designed by H. Peter Henschien. While many Art Deco designs feature decorative details that are related to the function of the building’s occupants, it’s probably a good idea that in this case, the decortive motifs are simply geometric in nature. In fact, I suspect this was intentional – for obvious reasons; as the saying goes, folks like eating sausage, but they don’t necessarily want to know how it’s made. I’ll eventually post some digital shots I took after I shot this photo – these will show some of the decorative panels in greater detail.

For now, enjoy!


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