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  • Springfield Association of Commerce and Industry Collection

In 1953, Illinois businessmen established the Springfield Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI) to promote the economic, civil, and social welfare of the Springfield, Illinois area. The ACI grew out of the merger of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Manufacturers and Employers Association, and the Springfield Industrial Development Commission. During the 1950s, the association mainly focused on improving the city sewer system, completed plans for the creation of three industrial parks, and worked for a comprehensive zoning plan. However, with the growth of the Springfield area in the 1960s, the local economy became a concern of the entire Springfield metropolitan area, not just the city of Springfield, so the ACI changed its name to the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce in December 1970. The new Chamber of Commerce continued the ACI’s efforts to promote and improve the Springfield community in the 1970s, focusing primarily on developing the city’s convention and tourism trade.

The collection includes photographs relating to Springfield’s first Business-Education (B-E) Day on October 10, 1952, which was sponsored by the Springfield Association of Commerce and Industry. One-hundred public and parochial teachers from city and county schools participated in the program, visiting local industries, such as Springfield Works. This collection also has photographs from Springfield’s 1957 “Capitennial” celebration and other events sponsored by the ACI, ranging from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The collection also includes images of Dollar Day in downtown Springfield, the annual Plae Dae picnic, Springfield Day festivities at the Illinois State Fair, and Springfield's Capitennial celebration.

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