Skip to main content

George H. Kinnamon Poster Collection

Identifier: spe-c00099

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 106 unique posters (21 posters are duplicate copies), that were collected by the donor’s father, George H. Kinnamon, as he drove through Chicago for work. The majority of these posters date from the 1950s and 1960s. Displayed outdoors, the posters offer a glimpse of entertainment and politics in the city of Chicago and state of Illinois during that time period. The posters advertise ballet performances, benefits, choir performances, circuses, events, ice skating shows, movies, music and dances, opera, racing, sports, theater, and political campaigns for Illinois contests and candidates.


  • 1958-1967, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

George Howard Kinnamon (1913-1983) was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in Independence, Missouri. In 1942, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic and was stationed in Italy and North Africa. After his World War II military service ended, Kinnamon returned to government service, this time as an economist in occupied Japan. He grew to love Japanese culture and married a Japanese woman. In 1952, Kinnamon moved to Chicago to seek post-war job opportunities and to study under the G.I. Bill. His last employment was as a union carpenter for the Chicago Board of Education where he was part of a work crew that installed mobile school classrooms for Chicago Public Schools during the 1960s. As he travelled across the city for these projects, he collected outdoor advertising posters posted along his routes that caught his eye. In the end, his collection included posters advertising sporting events and a wide range of entertainment along with local and national political campaigns spanning the late 1950s through the 1960s.


4 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes (1 oversize folder, 127 posters))

Language of Materials



This collection of 106 unique posters, collected by George H. Kinnamon as he drove through Chicago for his work, offers a glimpse at posted outdoor advertisements of public entertainment and politics in Chicago and Illinois during the 1950s and 1960s.


The posters are split into two series: Series 1: Entertainment Posters, 1959-1967, undated and Series 2: Political Posters, 1958-1963, undated.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Linda Kinnaman in 2018.

Related Materials

Alida Szabo Poster Collection

Chicago City-wide Collection

Chicago Collection of Kenan and Carol Heise

Travel and Railway Poster Collection



Guide to the George H. Kinnamon Poster Collection
Processed by Spenser Bailey, 2019. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875