The Lost Panoramas
May 15, 2013
Direct discharge into the Chicago River from W.N. Eisendrath & Company Tannery. About thirty tanneries, which turned animal hides from the stockyards into leather products, once lined the North Branch. Owners depended on the river for water to clean their facilites and to remove its waste. Along with the stockyards, distilleries, and gas manufacturers, they created what has been called a toxic stew. The North Branch began to smell in the 1870s. Laws were never effective in stopping pollution because the city depended on these businesses.