In 1870, five years after its construction, Chicago’s Union Stock Yard processed 3 million cattle and hogs By 1890, the number stretched to 12 million. Until the 1920s, Chicago was the meatpacking epicenter of the country, having gained its foothold during the Civil War by connecting Midwest farmers with demanding markets on the East Coast. Today, this legacy is reflected in Chicago’s steakhouses—where vintage photographs recall the past and a multicultural mélange of preparation techniques speak to the present.
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