Building Illinois: Entrepreneurialism Flourishes, Workers Rise (IL Bicentennial Speaker Series)


Information


Dates/Times:
7/15/2018, 2 pm - 4 pm

Admission:
Free

Contact:
217-782-7386


Location:
Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. Springfield, IL 62706

Description:
Presented by Mike Matejka. Beginning with 1850s railroad construction, Illinois boomed as an agricultural and industrial powerhouse. Familiar brand names, from Wrigley chewing gum to Swift and Armour meat products, covered the nation. Looking at two specific industries, Mike will cover not only the business expansion, but the workplace tensions that followed. George Pullman was a model 19th century entrepreneur, a “rags to riches” story. Yet when he was buried, his grave was concrete reinforced, to curtail desecration. What did Pullman create and what was his legacy? Illinois led the nation in years for coal production, a vital industry that fueled 19th and 20th century expansion. At the same time, the deep dark mines were a dangerous lair, creating a widespread workers’ movement for industrial democracy.