This collection features photographs, receipts, advertisements, news clippings, postcards and other materials related to family-owned and other small businesses from the 1900s to the present day.

The history of business in Des Plaines is a result of its geography. The Des Plaines River and age-old trails became major roads, railroads, airports, and interstate highways. The combination of resources and transportation has continuously fostered economic development from rudimentary small businesses in the 19th century to cutting edge commerce and industry in the recent past. Our history includes farms and greenhouses, diverse factories, R&D laboratories, general stores and malls, taverns and restaurants, and professionals of all kinds.

Are you a small business owner? Des Plaines Memory welcomes pictures of your business’s grand opening, anniversary events, interior and exterior pictures of retail stores, staff meetings and more - anything you think best tells the story of your business. To learn more about contributing, visit our Share Your Story page.