clown cigarettes, matchbooks, tools, and unused plaster ornament found in congress theater's attic

i didn't have much time to shoot congress theater's interior after spending the afternoon out on the facade. before leaving for the day, i decided to lug my camera equipment up to the attic where i could capture additional images of the methods and materials used to build the multi-tiered plaster dome around the "iron tent."

marbro theater's (demolished) "iron tent" under construction.

crude wood ladders used for accessing the three-tiered dome.

during this time i was fortunate to run across additional objects left by tradesmen towards the end of 1925 as the theater was preparing for its grand opening. i was amazed at the amount of ornamental plaster the tradesmen abandoned along the perimeter of the "iron tent." i have yet to identify the fabricator of the theater's plaster ornament, but i strongly suspect it was the decorators' supply company, based on their catalog stock patterns.

c. 1925 unfinished cast plaster petaled rosette.


marbro theater plasterers working on dome's underside.

one of many unused cast plaster ornamental fragments found near congress theater's dome.

i found a crude wooden "tool" (possibly a makeshift square) next to a pile of unused hemp on the dome's second tier. that instrument will fit nicely with the buckets, trowel, and others objects pertaining specifically to the plasterers.

makeshift tradesman "tool" and pile of hemp. note the finger impressions of the tradesmen from 1925.

nearby, i found tobacco-related products, which based on past visits, are the most frequently found objects left behind by the tradesmen. while camel and lucky strike cigarette brands are frequently found time and again, i do stumble across additional brands, which in this case was a brightly colored matchbook and cigarette pack for "balanced blend" clown cigarettes. i find the color scheme and graphics most appealing.

"clown" cigarette matchbook left undisturbed since november of 1925.

tradesman matchbook lightly cleaned and documented.

tradesman's pack of cigarettes lightly cleaned and documented.

tradesman matchbook lightly cleaned and documented.

additional images:

a crudely-built catwalk is the primary access point to congress theater's dome.

one of two smaller domes flanking the centrally located ceiling dome.

original major equipment spotlight left abandoned on its "track" surrounding the base of the dome.

chicago newspapers (all dating to 1925-26) were found throughout the congress theater's attic.

dated newspaper fragment lightly cleaned and documented.

newspaper fragment lightly cleaned and documented.

each visit to congress theater's attic produces more "found" objects.

jonkoping matchbook, comprised of cedar wood. five boxes have been discovered. three still contain burnable matches.

publication coming soon.

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