The rather curious title of this post comes in part from a serial title, but doesn’t really do justice to what is actually in the publication. That job is left to the publication’s full title which does a better job of letting readers know what to expect. The full title is Ready Reference Book for Grain and Provision Dealers, showing the highest and lowest prices in the Chicago Market of Wheat, Corn, Pork, Oats, Lard and Short Ribs, each month for twenty-seven years, but it doesn’t end there. It goes on to say: Also, the Yearly Crop of Wheat and Corn for Fifteen Years, and Annual Exports. Stocks of Wheat in Store in Chicago, every Month for Fifteen Years, and Visible Supply with FULL PACKING STATISTICS, and other interesting and valuable Facts and Figures, for reference and general information.
We have issues from 1885-1889 — and it was chock full of charts and numbers. I can’t do a better job than the title at giving a reader an idea about what to expect, but I did want to include at least one chart. I do love a good chart, and there’s always a chance that someone wants to know the monthly opening, highest, lowest, and closing prices for corn, wheat, oats, pork, lard and short ribs in 1884.
While the title indicates an item without much artistic merit, the publishers did include this nice little drawing of the “new” Chicago Board of Trade building which was dedicated in April 1885. The Library of Congress collection includes photographs that show traders on the floor of the CBOT, including this one from 1900 and others from 1903 and 1905.