How Chicago jacked itself up in the 1860s

In the 1860s Chicago underwent an amazing transformation in which dozens of buildings were moved around the city and gangs of men raised giant hotels and banks on jackscrews. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll follow the city's astounding 20-effort to rid itself of sewage and disease.

We'll also hear about how dangerously close the U.S. and the Soviet Union came to nuking each other, and puzzle over the importance of a ringing phone.

Show notes

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