Poster Stamps of the Chicago International Live Stock Exposition - 1913-1959

Among the more common poster stamps a collector will encounter are those of the Chicago International Live Stock Exposition (CILSE), especially from the years 1934 through 1941, which seem to be the most plentiful. These stamps are appealing for their attractive, consistent design, and also for the challenge of acquiring a complete run. But how many exist?

According to Nicholas Follansbee, stamp dealer, expert on the stamps of Mexico, and a dedicated poster stamp collector, the earliest of the series was issued in 1913, and the last in 1959, with gaps in 1922-23 and 1942-45. (There was a forerunner in 1909, but we'll treat that as an anomaly.) That still leaves at least forty stamps, some of which are quite scarce. Below, based on Mr. Follansbee's research, is a table showing what is known about each stamp, with the images I have been able to acquire thus far. If you can contribute images or information to fill the gaps, please send to the author of this page -

Year IssuedDates of ShowCommentsColorsScarcityImage
1901 FORERUNNER?

Dec 3-6 - not at the stock yards.

     

1907 Nov 26(?) to Dec 7     

1908 no dates     

1909 Nov 27 to Dec 10FORERUNNER - Simple text label Red on cream rare

1910 ? No stamp - nice postcard!    

1912 ? No stamp - nice postcard!    
The stamps for years 1913 through 1918 have year dates.
1913 Nov 29 to Dec 6, 1913 Oval design in green, woman on horseback holding crowns, ox head to left, sheep's head to right green rare
1914 Nov 28 to Dec 5, 1914 Image of farmer and bull

According to article quoted at bottom of page, the show was planned but not held in 1914, because of an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease

brown very scarce
1915 Nov 27 to Dec 4, 1915 Image of cow

 

yellow, blue and black very scarce


(Progressive color proofs!)

1916 Dec 2-9, 1916 Rider on horseback holding flag with solid image of bull - this same basic design was used for all subsequent stamps blue and black scarce
1917 Dec 1-8, 1917   red, blue and black scarce
1918 Nov 30 to Dec 7, 1918   red and blue  
The stamps for years 1919 through 1933 have no year dates, nor do I have a record of the dates of the show for each year, but since all of the shows from 1913 through 1918, plus 1934 are Saturday to Saturday, it seems reasonable to assume the shows for 1919 through 1933 spanned those days as well. That is the basis for assignment of stamps to years in the next section.
1919 Nov 29 to Dec 6 The dates for 1919 and 1924 are the same, and while there are two different stamps with those dates, neither has a year date, so I can only guess which of those two stamps was issued which year.

Their colors are basically the same - I have seen some differences, but I think those are from printing variations and age - so the only valid distinction is the text: One says "UNION STOCK YARDS" at the bottom, and the other says "42nd and HALSTED."

The stamps for 1918, 1920, and 1921 all say "42nd and HALSTED," so I am assuming for consistency the stamp for 1919 would have that text as well.

Therefore the stamp with "UNION STOCK YARDS" must be from 1924. If someone can prove otherwise, please email me - see bottom of page.

red and blue  
1920 Nov 27 to Dec 4   "  
1921 Nov 26 to Dec 3   "  
1922 Dec 2 to 9, 1922No Stamp? x  

Nice ASDA Cinderella!

1923 Dec 1 to 8, 1923No Stamp? x  

1924 Nov 29 to Dec 6 The dates for 1919 and 1924 are the same, and while there are two different stamps with those dates, neither has a year date, so I can only guess which of those two stamps was issued which year.

Their colors are basically the same - I have seen some differences, but I think those are from printing variations and age - so the only valid distinction is the text: One says "UNION STOCK YARDS" at the bottom, and the other says "42nd and HALSTED."

The stamps for 1918, 1920, and 1921 all say "42nd and HALSTED," so I am assuming for consistency the stamp for 1919 would have that text as well.

Therefore the stamp with "UNION STOCK YARDS" must be from 1924. If someone can prove otherwise, please email me - see bottom of page.

red and blue  
1925 Nov 28 to Dec 5   black, blue-gray and tan  
1926 Nov 27 to Dec 4   "  
1927 Nov 26 to Dec 3   "  

1928 Dec 1 to Dec 8   "  

 

1929 Nov 30 to Dec 7 Bull on flag is outlined, not solid "  
1930 Nov 29 to Dec 6   "  
1931 Nov 28 to Dec 5   "  
1932 Nov 26 to Dec 3   "  
1933 Dec 2 to Dec 9   "  
All the following stamps have year dates.
1934 Dec 1 to Dec 9, 1934 Year included in date from here on black, blue- gray and tan Common
1935 Nov 30 to Dec 7, 1935   " Common
1936 Nov 28 to Dec 5, 1936Note image of full sheet - I like to see how stamps were printed and distributed. " Common

1937 Nov 27 to Dec 4, 1937   " Common  
1938 Nov 26 to Dec 3, 1938   " Common
1939 Dec 2 to Dec 9, 1939   " Common
1940 Nov 30 to Dec 7, 1940   " Common

1941 Nov 29 to Dec 6, 1941Note image of full sheet - I like to see how stamps were printed and distributed. " Common

1942 No stamp(Show was not held)      
1943 No stamp(Show was not held)      
1944 No stamp(Show was not held)      
1945 No stamp(Show was not held)      
1946 Nov 30 to Dec 7, 1946   black, blue-gray and tan    
1947 Nov 29 to Dec 6, 1947   "  
1948 Nov 27 to Dec 4, 1948   "  
1949 Nov 26 to Dec 3, 1949   "  
1950 Nov 25 to Dec 2, 1950   "  
1951 Nov 24 to Dec 1, 1951   "  
1952 Nov 29 to Dec 6, 1952   "  
1953 Nov 28 to Dec 5, 1953   "  

1954 Nov 26 to Dec 4, 1954   "  
1955 Nov 25 to Dec 3, 1955   "  
1956 Nov 23 to Dec 1, 1956   "    
1957 Nov 29 to Dec 7, 1957   "  
1958 Nov 28 to Dec 6, 1958The outline of the bull on the flag is black now "  
1959 Nov 27 to Dec 5, 1959   "  

My profuse thanks to Nick Follansbee for his help with images and information for this page.

History of the Chicago International Live Stock Exposition

From http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/30.html

In 1872, New Yorker Franklin J. (F. J.) Berry established a small but successful horse market at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street. By 1886, Berry was selling 4,000 horses annually. In October of 1888, he moved his operation to the Union Stock Yard and by 1895 was selling 27,000 horses annually. His success was due to his innovative sales method: horses brought in by the rail carload were sold individually in a weekly public auction. This method, which allowed Illinois to dominate the national horse market from the late 1880s through the late 1920s, continued into the twenty-first century.

The interest in and specialization of the Chicago livestock market continued well into the twentieth century. Agricultural fairs and specific breed expositions, including the numerous agricultural pavilions of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, assisted in this promotion. Beginning in 1878, a ?fat stock? show was held annually, always in the fall, in order to promote and identify the best examples of purebred species. This evolved into the International Livestock Exposition in 1900 and continued on an annual basis until 1975. J. H. Sanders, founder of the Breeder's Gazette in 1881, and son Alvin worked closely with the various large breeders and individual breeders' associations to create this uniquely large, very successful market and exposition.

From http://www.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/collections/agri/ag10.html

The International Live Stock Exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois, from 1900 to 1975 each year after Thanksgiving. Because of quarantine regulations no shows were held in 1914-1915 (major outbreak of foot and mouth disease), nor were any held during the World War II years 1942-1945. The exposition was supported financially by the Union Stockyard and Transit Company and was held in an amphitheater at the Stockyard. Operations were managed by an association of individuals active in the livestock industry. The largest such show in the world, the exposition attracted an international audience to view prize-winning swine, cattle, sheep, draft horses, and poultry. Judging events were held during the day, and horse shows provided evening entertainment. Each year, in conjunction with the exposition, a new oil portrait of a leader in the livestock industry was hung in the Saddle and Sirloin Club. The club was located at the Stockyard Inn, adjacent to the exposition's ampitheater.

Click here to access my web page about the 1936-1951 Poster Stamp Bulletin of the National Poster Stamp Society.

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All text Copyright © 2007, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 02/26/2007
Revised -- 02/04/2016