Isham Randolph, Poet

I’ve written in the past about Isham’s 26 stanza poem, written for Admiral Dewey on his visit to the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal.  You can see the entire poem on page three of this album.  I’ve found plenty of examples of Isham’s technical writing,…

What Badges Would Isham Have Collected?

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/plural/status/177170929053483008"] My pal @plural (Jason Gessner)’s funny tweet inspired a second (shorter) post explaining badges in terms of Isham Randolph.  (for those just joining, Isham Randolph was the chief engineer of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the canal that reversed the flow of…

Ebin. J. Ward v. Isham Randolph

I’ve started to collect any historic records from the Sanitary District of Chicago during the Sanitary & Ship Canal dig on a Google bookshelf.  I’ve found 8 books, including several volumes of the official proceedings of the board of trustees.  All pretty dry stuff, but…

McAvoy Brewing Company

I added two new Wikipedia entries tonight, both are pretty stubby in nature – McAvoy Brewing Company and John H. McAvoy.  I ran into the McAvoy Brewing Company a few years ago at the Quincy Brown Line stop, that’s the station that’s all old-timey, with a…

Elgin National Watch Company

Chicago in the 19th century is well known as a meat packing city, as a railroad hub, and as a birthplace of the early labor movement.  Less well known is Chicago’s role in the history of time, both in the agreements of how time would…

Isham has a Wikipedia Entry

  After 8 months of on and off work, a trip to the Newberry Library, and dozens of articles logged and noted, Isham Randolph – the engineer that reversed the flow of the Chicago River, has a respectable Wikipedia article: Isham Randolph. I’m pretty proud…

Mayor of Chicago (c. 1880) was a bit of a thug

Isham makes a bold claim in his memoir. On September 15th, 1880, his 3rd cousin, the Mayor of Chicago Carter Harrison Sr. led a mob attack on the rail line he was working on. I added it to Isham’s wikipedia page, knowing that Isham himself…

Isham Randolph’s Memoir, First Thoughts

In 1937, 17 years after Isham’s death, his sons published a collection of short autobiographical stories written by their father and organized in rough chronological order.  The book is called Gleanings from a Harvest of Memories. I read it, cover to cover, took a bunch…

Digital Historical Research

I’m headed to the Newberry Library this weekend to read Isham Randolph’s memoir “Gleanings from a Harvest of Memories.”  As I’m pulling my notes together, it’s amazing to me how little physical library work I’ve done to put together so much information about the man. …

Digging Ditches is Dangerous

Digging the canal wasn’t easy.  New construction machines and techniques were influencing the dig, and organizing thousands of workers led to lots of issues.  Isham was hit by a train in 1899: Obviously danger from construction would be a big concern, but less obviously, the…