Dill Pickle Club Records

Institution: Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: 312-255-3506
Date: 1906-1941
Extent: 3 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Chicago social club, established around 1914.

The Dill Pickle Club afforded an unconventional meeting place for good talk, entertainment and food for uninhibited and free-thinking persons of the times. The Dill Pickle (spelled also Dil Pickle and called simply “the Pickle” by most of its habitués) was founded by Jack Jones, a former labor activist. Once one of Chicago’s best-known Bohemian nightspots, the club provided a forum for free speech as well as affording encouragement for artistic expression. Its patrons included Socialists, atheists, anarchists, “liberated” women, professional lecturers and soapbox orators, artists, actors, literary hopefuls and all sorts of unconventional types.

Scope and Content Note:
The collection of Dill Pickle Club records and memorabilia presents a glimpse of the Bohemian lifestyle of Chicago in the teens, twenties and early thirties of the twentieth century. Most of the items were removed from two scrapbooks, possibly complied by the founder of the club, Jack Jones. Also, some business records, a small amount of correspondence, business and calling cards, newspaper clippings, a few photographs, a collection of poems and an assortment of art works, including original pieces by George Constant and Stanislaw Szukalski. Also, a small collection of Jack Jones memorabilia consisting of a drawing of the toy he invented, the Du-Dil-Duk, membership and union cards, a letter attesting to his British citizenship, two programs for his lectures, welfare and unemployment forms, his silhouette, and items and charts relating to an organization and a 1933 book by Jones, both entitled Tech-Up.

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