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1908 Living and Technology in America

It was quite impressive. By the time we arrived, there were also quite a few Sullivans and big schools going up by crane and construction crews (Howe 1).

I went down to the construction area to wave my hands around as my brother-in-law said to. I got lucky and was picked to work for George W. Jackson, a local manager of the underground rail system. I worked for him for two weeks, doing the grunt work laying utility, gas, water and electricity lines and pipes underneath the rail system downtown in the business district. The trolley cars were directly under the street level over on Wabash, though no one uses them anymore. The elevated express cars, the ones you use to get anywhere fast, were on the top and I always said when we were using them that it is partly because of me.

Jackson was famous for wanting to personally inspect every new hire. I remember feeling nervous as I stepped into his clean, slick office. He had one of those IT&T Strowger dial telephones on his desk (Moffat 31). But he didn't do anything more than look at me, nod and say, "OK." I guess I passed his test.

Another reason we were building the tunnels was to lay down line for telephone wires. What we would do is sink a construction shaft by digging under the street, usually a block at a time with mechanical hoes. I was operating a shovel to clear what the machine could not. Then a steam-powered elevator would


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