Thursday, August 13, 2015

Herbert Hinchliffe

Chicago's filled with buildings and names long forgotten.  Here's a picture of one I pass every day and the story behind the name found here.
It’s a red brick garage-style building at Carroll and Damen in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor TIF district. It’s old and nondescript, a garage with doors on Carroll and a big wall along Damen, red and silent but for the words “Herbert Hinchliffe” in gray stone near the top. 
The Cook County Assessor’s Office says the building is 85 years old, putting it at 1928. 
Hinchliffe, called “the dean of Chicago truckmen” in a 1935 profile in an International Harvester trade publication, likely never had horses there. Although his hauling company went from one horse and wagon during the 1893 Columbian Exhibition to more than 130 horses in the late teens, Hinchliffe switched over to automobile trucks in the early 1920s, he said. 
The photo with the profile is of a thin, severe man with round, wire-frame glasses, gray hair, a suit with a waistcoat, no sense of a smile. It’s like a 1930s cartoonist had been tasked with drawing a skinflint boss. 
“Close attention to business and prompt service to customers have always kept us in the black,” Hinchliffe said at the beginning of the profile. 
“Mr. Hinchliffe has no hobby but work,” the profile says later on.

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