31 01, 2015

A New Beginning in 1902: Meet the Commercial Club

By | January 31st, 2015|Blog, Chamber Begins|0 Comments

Fifty-five men milled about the Knutsford Hotel dining room. Utah Governor Heber M. Wells had called the meeting. Days earlier the top 100 business leaders in Salt Lake City—dubbed by the 43-year-old governor as the “Committee of 100”—had been summoned. It was November 11, 1901. Gas lights could be seen flickering through the windows of [...]

30 01, 2015

The First 25 Years: From Commercial Club to Chamber of Commerce

By | January 30th, 2015|Chamber Begins, Chamber History|0 Comments

When Salt Lake business leaders organized the Commercial Club in 1902, theirs was still a world largely more pioneer than progressive. When it rained and snowed, the streets of a growing Salt Lake City turned to mud as horses, buggies, and wagons traversed them. Despite the mud, a growing skyline of commercial buildings was changing [...]

29 01, 2015

The Chamber Knows How to Throw a Party

By | January 29th, 2015|Policy|0 Comments

It was February 11, 1927, and the Commercial Club was bustling with 350 “fortunate ones” who got seats in the Chamber’s silver anniversary. Along with “rejoicing and celebration” the evening was filled with “burlesque and a satire and a good dinner and a genial feeling of good fellowship.” The event had been dubbed the “Pig [...]

28 01, 2015

The Chamber’s First “Sparkplug Boy”

By | January 28th, 2015|Policy|0 Comments

Behind every great business organization, an energetic and motivated personality usually acts as catalyst. Called everything from the Chamber’s “sparkplug boy” to “the first of the western boomers,” Fisher Harris was among the first to personify the early Chamber, known then as the Commercial Club. The affable Harris first arrived in Salt Lake City in [...]

28 01, 2015

The Veterans Hospital: Backman’s First Assignment

By | January 28th, 2015|Backman Years, Chamber History|0 Comments

The new Veterans Administration hospital on the 12th Avenue is shown in 1933. The Chamber has been a leader in tapping the federal government’s largesse for building projects and other improvements. In October 1930, the Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Club leaders hired Gus Backman as its top staff member and gave him [...]

27 01, 2015

Cleaning Up the City

By | January 27th, 2015|Blog, Chamber Begins, Chamber History|0 Comments

On January 12, 1914, the Commercial Club’s Good Roads Committee presented a letter for the city commission about yet another civic improvement. “State Street is the main thoroughfare coming into Salt Lake City from the south and it is of the utmost importance, not only to Salt Lake, but all the different towns south of [...]

26 01, 2015

The Ball Era

By | January 26th, 2015|Ball Era, Chamber History|0 Comments

When Fred S. Ball came to the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce as its new executive vice president on January 1, 1971, the 38-year-old transportation executive didn’t have time to dwell on his well-known predecessors. He had plenty of challenges right from the start, including meeting the first payroll. Ball was vice president and [...]

26 01, 2015

Chasing Smoke

By | January 26th, 2015|Blog, Chamber Begins, Chamber History|0 Comments

Smog, a combination of coal-fed smoke and fog, creates a London-like scene in the city in 1942. The City-County building is in the distance. Smoke pollution was a big problem during almost the entire first half of the Twentieth Century, but in the wintertime in Salt Lake City it was fierce. Everyone burned [...]