GLMS 109 - Anthony Bocconcelli Collection/FitzSimons & Connell Dredge & Dock Co.
|Title||GLMS 109 - Anthony Bocconcelli Collection/FitzSimons & Connell Dredge & Dock Co.|
|Subject||Business & Commerce|
This collection, consisting of 6 cubic feet of photographic material, was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes on September 21, 2009 by Mr. Richard Adams of Chicago, IL. Mr. Adams received the material as a gift from Anthony Bocconcelli of Chicago. The Anthony Bocconcelli Collection provides photographic documentation of many of the projects of the FitzSimons & Connell Dredge & Dock Co. The collection includes photographic material as well as a minimal amount of motion picture film, transferred to DVD. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public. Duplication is permitted for purposes of conservation and scholarly research. The collection was processed with the assistance of Jonathan Filler, Jessica Schmidt, and Rex Childers.
The FitzSimons and Connell Dredge and Dock Company of Chicago, Illinois, played a significant role in the development of Chicago’s waterways, transportation access, and public works in the period of the firm’s existence. Gen. Charles FitzSimons, (whose last name is alternatively spelled as Fitzsimmons or Fitzsimons) was a Civil War officer who served with the 21st New York Cavalry, leaving military service in Colorado at the end of the war in 1866. FitzSimons and his partner, Charles J. Connell, established Connell and FitzSimons in 1867 with a mill in Chicago that provided heavy timber frames for railroad construction, including significant contracts in building bridge frames on the Union Pacific Railroad between the North Platte River and Salt Lake City. In the mid-1870’s, the firm responded to the economic turmoil known as the Panic of 1873 when it expanded its bridge building practice, and partnered with Harry Fox, an experienced dock builder in the Chicago area, in the interest of entering the dredge and dock business. Upon Fox’s death, the firm continued under the name of FitzSimons and Connell.
In addition to its significant early bridging contracts, FitzSimons and Connell was a main contractor on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal dredging project, the largest of its kind at the time. In the early twentieth century, Fitz-Simons and Connell continued its growth in the Chicago bridge business, gaining contracts as the substructure contractor on numerous Bascule style bridges (often referred to as “Chicago bridges” due to their unique design and their identification with the downtown Chicago landscape). Through the middle of the twentieth century, the firm continued its work in the Chicago area, contracting for numerous City of Chicago filtration plant construction projects, beach and park dredge and dock work, and industrial dock and concrete projects.
|Scope and Content|
This collection contains approximately 2700 photographs, primarily black and white, as well as a short film transferred to DVD. The main emphasis is on job site progress, with occasional highlights of the labor force and supervisors. The collection offers an excellent representation of the work environments of manual laborers, operating in varying weather and safety conditions, in the construction of significant structures, many of which still exist today. The photographs span the years 1911 through 1976 and document the evolution of construction techniques and equipment. Projects documented were located in IL (especially Chicago), Indiana, and Wisconsin.
1-6. Washington Street Bridge east abutment, Chicago. 103 black & white (b & w) photographs, 1911-1912
1-3. Lake Street Bridge, Chicago. 77 b & w photographs, 1914-1915
1. George P. Cullen, Rush St., Chicago. 3 b & w photographs, n.d.
1-6 100th Street Bridge substructure, Chicago. 114 b & w photographs, 1925-1926
1-2 Roosevelt Road and Bridge project, Chicago. 37 b & w photographs, 1927-1930
1. Kenosha City dock, Kenosha, WI. 6 b & w photographs, 1930
1-3. South Halsted Street Bridge, Chicago. 55 b & w photographs, 1933-1934
1-3. South Ashland Avenue Bridge, Chicago. 66 b & w photographs, 1936-1937
1. International Harvester Co., Calumet River. 5 b & w photographs, 1937-1939
1-2. City of Chicago- Filtration plants- 77th to 79th streets. 28 b & w photographs, 1939
1. City of Chicago - N. State St. Bridge. 15 b & w photographs, 1941
1-3. City of Chicago- S. District Filtration plant-shore and fill. 53 b & w photographs, 1940-1944
1. N.Y. Central R.R. dock renewal, St. Clair St., Chicago. 3 b & w photographs, 1944
1. Chicago Park District, Casino Pier, Jackson Park. 27 b & w photographs, 1943
1-2. Central Illinois Light Co., R.S. Wallace Station. 42 b & w photographs, 1948
1. State of Illinois Division of Highways, Peoria, Illinois. 2 b & w photographs, 1954
1. Cargill, Inc. (FC-1220) sheet pile dock, Calumet River. 14 b & w photographs, 1966
1. Dart Industries (FC-1278) Illinois River Barge dock facility. 8 color photographs, 1972