Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cubs Win the 1908 World Series and Chicago Celebrates.

Dr. Neil Gale identifies this photograph's correct subject and date, which is over 115 years old as of 2023. The subject was unknown and, thus, mislabeled on the Internet. This is one of a handful of historical photos on which I corrected or identified the subject matter.
Downtown Looking North on State Street from Madison Street, October 14, 1908.
This photo was taken on Wednesday, October 14, 1908, at 1:05 PM (per the Marshall Field clock) as Chicago Cubs fans flocked to the streets to celebrate the Cubs winning the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Game 5 had a 10 AM start time, and the average time of a nine-inning MLB game is 3 hours. The game was played at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan. The image was most likely captured by a photographer standing on the roof of a streetcar.

I contacted Major League Baseball ( and then sent my research and photo. MLB used this photo in one of their online articles.

The handwritten date on the face of the photograph (poor penmanship), which was misread as 1909, is actually 1908. I inverted the picture in Photoshop and used other filters to deduce that the last digit was eight (8), not nine (9).

Moreover, on that date and time in Chicago's history, nothing else would bring such a crowd (today, called a flash mob) out in the streets of downtown Chicago, bringing traffic to a standstill. News traveled at lightning-fast speed via telegraph, telephone (by 1908, the total telephones in Chicago proper had increased to 140,000, primarily businesses), and by word of mouth.

Copyright © 2016  Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. All rights reserved.


  1. Amazing image. My father was then 5 months old and living in Dyer, IN at the time.

  2. Great detective work Neil! A wonderful photo & now it's known what it is all about.


The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ is RATED PG-13. Please comment accordingly. Advertisements, spammers and scammers will be removed.