Hawthorne Museum

  • Hawthorn Logo
  • Morton College
    3801 S Central Ave
    Cicero, IL 60804

    (708) 656-8000 Ext. 2320

    Admission is free of charge.

    Mon to Fri xx a.m. - xx p.m.

    Tours by appointment. Please call for additional information.

  •  harthorne-museum-banner-1   
    Welcome to the Hawthorne Museum 

    In 1908, 25,000 local Chicago residents, many of whom were new immigrants of Czech or Polish descent, began working at Western Electric’s new Hawthorne Works manufacturing plant in Cicero, Illinois. The rural Hawthorne Works plant became a self-sufficient city with 100 buildings, a hospital, fire brigade, laundry facilities, greenhouse, a brass band, running track, tennis courts, gymnasium, an annual beauty pageant and a staff of trained nurses who made house calls!

    In 1900, only 676,733 Bell telephones existed in the country. By 1975, 45,000 Western Electric employees had manufactured 140 million phones and provided the country-wide infrastructure for this exponential growth. They manufactured the famous inventions of Bell Labs from vacuum tubes to transistors, sound for motion pictures, the loudspeaker, the microphone, the transcontinental phone line, radar and ship-to-shore equipment for the Signal Corps and fiber optics.

    The Hawthorne Museum provides a lens through which you can view the rich industrial history of our community, and, by extension, the history of 20th Century America.

    Please visit our website often to view the museum photos in our gallery and to find more information about programs, admission, hours, contacts, and resources.


    Hawthorne Works Museum Blog Recent Posts

  • Hawthorne Works in the Great War

    End of an Era

    Remembering Hawthorne Workers on Memorial Day

    Fifty Years Ago: The Picturephone

    Lewis Hine’s Images of the Hawthorne Works

    Upcoming Hawthorne Works Book Events

    Book Signing Event Friday, Feb. 28, 4PM

    Images of America: The Hawthorne Works

    Prchal’s Tower

    Western Gates