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Chicagoist Wayback Machine: Hitler Liked Maxwell Street

By Karl Klockars in Miscellaneous on Jun 3, 2007 12:00PM


Maxwell Street, 1941.

Sunday mornings are a good time for shopping. Especially if you're looking for things like random socks, hubcaps, lamps, or eyeball tacos. The Maxwell Street Market isn't what it used to be back in the days of the early 1900's, or even before the UIC Expansion starting in the late 60's. Hell, it isn't even on Maxwell anymore - it's on Canal Street at Roosevelt.
Regardless of where progress has pushed it, the Maxwell Street Market remains a vital part of Chicago's history as well as its present. And in 1939, the Germans were pretty impressed by it as well. So far as we can tell, this clipping from the Chicago Tribune discussing the painted-pushcart program (ordered for organizational and asthetic purposes, although why you'd want that at the Market is beyond us) describes the Berliners following Chicago's lead in pushcart proliferation.

Okay, so maybe the program never got as far as Der Fuhrer. Regardless, if you're curious about the more modern Maxwell, it runs Sundays from around 7am - 3pm at the latest. Booths, stalls, and chow changes from week to week, so show up at sunup to snag some parking and see what you can haggle for.

Transcription of the article comes after the jump. Chicagoist needs to take a cue from 70-year old newspaper clippings and start calling people "laggards."

Image courtesy of Feininger's Chicago: 1941. Clipping from the Trib. Curious about something in Chicago's history? Wondering where that corpse was found or that brothel was located? Email us at to get us digging.

The inside story of why the mayor ordered all his city’s pushcarts painted in standard colors was disclosed Saturday by Ira W. Wolfe, industrial manager for the Maxwell Street Merchant’s Association.

“On May 26,” said Mr. Wolfe, “Maxwell Street announced that all its pushcarts were going to be renovated and painted orange and blue. We sent copies of the plan to the mayors of Moscow, Berlin, London and Paris. The Tribune has reported that Berlin is going to have multicolored carts. This proves that the Germans are on their toes; right in the footsteps of Maxwell Street.

London, Paris, and Moscow [the laggards] are still trying to struggle along with no pushcart paint program.