It was a room on the third floor of the Harold Washington Library, a room few go into when pdfs and scans are available from the comfort of home. The old microfilm is unused and cracking — the Daily News records for 1921 have split to the point where the black buffer of tape is gone and the roll starts mid-issue.
The Chicago Herald records from 1917 were in better shape.
The choice was between a projector that sticks and one that won’t rewind. Whirring, churning, slugging by under draining yellow lights, the Herald’s takes on World War I, Pancho Villa and long-forgotten murders du jour lurched by my eyes, filling me with a whirring, churning, slugging nausea.
But I had to prove this project was inspired by Ben Hecht’s “1001 Afternoons in Chicago,” and not by the author of a 1950 guide to sleaze. » Read the rest of this entry «