Lyon & Healy
by Jacob Kaplan

Lyon and Healy is a musical instrument manufacturer that still operates in Chicago. Formed in 1864, Lyon and Healy opened a factory at Randolph and Ogden in 1890 that is still operation.

Known for their harps, they have also at times made guitars, banjos, pianos, and other musical instruments.24 In 1913, the factory depicted on the postcard was opened (designed by Hyland and Green). Located on Fullerton just west of Pulaski (then Crawford), along the Milwaukee Road line, the factory included a station along the railroad named after the complex; the station is still called Healy to this day.25

The Lyon and Healy factory on Fullerton did not remain in operation for long; by the 1930s, it was home to the Mills Novelty Company, a noted coin-operated machine manufacturer.26 The usual model of industrial de-concentration would suggest that the company would have closed their original factory on the Near West Side and made the Fullerton location their main operation. In actuality, the Fullerton operation did not last twenty years, and the firm’s 100+ year old Near West Side factory still remains in operation to this day! This serves to demonstrate that there are often prominent exceptions to any theoretical model.

The factory remains in good condition today (aside from its window treatments), and is used as a public storage facility. Various additions to the site were made over the years, as the buildings that comprise the site today are larger and more numerous than those depicted in the postcard.

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