Chicon 1

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The second Worldcon, and first Worldcon in Chicago, Chicon was held in the Hotel Chicagoan in Chicago, IL, September 1–2, 1940. The GoH was E. E. "Doc" Smith.

The tradition of nicknaming Worldcons was still not settled, and nobody had thought about choosing a site for another Worldcon the year before; Forry Ackerman nicknamed this one. The 1940 Worldcon Site Selection that chose Chicago took place at Philcon 1939, not at the First Worldcon, but this Worldcon cemented the tradition of choosing the upcoming site during the con. Denver in 1941 won the right to host the 1941 Worldcon over a New York in 1941 bid. See 1941 Worldcon Site Selection.

The first Chicon was sponsored by the Illini Fantasy Fictioneers, a club set up for the purpose, and run by a triumvirate. Mark Reinsberg held the title of chairman (he'd won that title in a "bitter struggle" with W. Lawrence Hamling, who claimed to have been elected), with Erle Korshak (secretary and executive advisor) and Bob Tucker (treasurer and Director of the IFF) as equal partners who did 90% of the work. Sully Roberds did publications and Richard Meyer also helped. Korshak presided over the opening day of the con, when Reinsberg fell ill.

Although the official membership count was 128, Tucker reported that Ray Palmer signed the membership book five times, using his own name and four of his pseudonyms. (This appears to have been common in the early days.) Admission was free. See the list of pre-registered members below.

The Chicon may have been the place where Claude Degler made his first public appearance at a fannish event, unless it was the Denvention.

The first masquerade took place at the Chicon at the suggestion of Jack Speer and Milt Rothman.

Erle Korshak tells the story that after Chicon, he and Bob Tucker met and divvied up the couple of hundred dollars that was left after paying the bills. Korshak, Tucker and Reinsburg each got a share and Sully Roberds and Richard Meyer split a share.

From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
from Convention ChiCon I was in Chicago about Labor Day 1940 under the auspices of the Illinois Fantasy Fictioneers (a con-promoting organization specially organized by Reinsburg, Tucker, and others for the event; it later merged with the MWFFF). The ChiCon I was significant of the new harmony in fandom resulting from the suppression of feuding, and took place in the plushest surroundings yet. A suggestion by Speer and Rothman led to institution of the Costume Party at this con; Dave Kyle won it as Ming the Merciless.
From Fancyclopedia 1 ca 1944
(Ackerman) - The Chicago 1940 World Science-Fiction Convention

Program[edit]

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1

  • MORNING SESSION: 10:00 A.M to 12:00 Noon.
  1. Informal gathering at Convention Hall.
  2. Acceptance of Resolutions Petitions.
  3. Sale of Official Convention Fan Publications
  4. Luncheon Recess.
  • AFTERNOON SESSION: 1:00 to 6:00 P.M.
  1. Registration in Foyer
    1. Sale of Chicon Program Booklet.
    2. Distribution of Chicon souvenirs.
  2. Formal Opening of Chicon by Temporary Chairman.
  3. Address of Welcome, by Bob Tucker.
  4. Report of the Program Committee: Richard I. Meyer, Chairman.
  5. Installment of Mark Reinsberg as Permanent Chairman.
  6. "One Year of Fan Progress," by Mark Reinsberg.
  7. Report of the Resolutions Committee: Erle Korshak, Chairman.
  8. "What Does This Convention Mean?" by E. E. Smith, Ph. D.
  9. Motion Picture-Premier Showing of Monsters of the Moon, a scientific fantasy of the future. Introductory remarks by Forrest J Ackerman.
  10. Recess for Refreshments (30 minutes).
  11. "What Science Fiction Really Is," Raymond A. Palmer.
  12. This is Fandom! Introductions of:
    1. The Convention Committee.
    2. The Fans and Pros of Chicago: the Nation.
  13. Supper Recess-preparation for costume party.
  • EVENING SESSION: 8:00 P.M. to Midnight.
  1. The Science Fiction Masquerade Party: Speer & Rothman, co-Masters of Ceremony.
  2. The Science Fiction Auction: Erle Korshak, Auctioneer.
  3. Adjournment to Monday Sept. 2nd.

MONDAY, SEPT. 2nd.

  • MORNING SESSION: 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon. (Closed)
  1. Business Meeting of the Illini Fantasy Fictioneers-IFF members only.
  • AFTERNOON SESSION: 1:00 to 6:00 P.M.
  1. Call to order
  2. Reading of the Minutes of previous day: George Tullis, Recording Secretary.
  3. Director's Report on the IFF.
  4. Report of the Resolutions Committee.
  5. Individual presentation of proposed Resolutions by sponsors.
    1. Individual debate.
    2. Assembly votes for or against adoption of individual proposed Resolutions in Chicon Platform.
  6. Reading of Chicon Platform for Fandom.
  7. New or unfinished business.
  8. Dinner Recess.
  • EVENING SESSION: 8:00 P.M. to Midnight.
  1. The E. E. Smith Honor Banquet. Celebrating the Chicon's GoH, the Colossus of all writers of Science Fiction---Edward E. ("Skylark") Smith, Ph. D.
  2. After dinner talks and general discussion.
  3. Final adjournment and --Farewell.
  • SPECIAL EVENTS (Tuesday, Sept 3rd).
  1. The Science Fiction Softball Game. Two select All-Fan Teams battle for the Championship.
  2. General Open House. Chicago fans "fling wide the portals" of their homes for visiting fans.
  3. General Tours of Chicago. Escorted trips to Chicago's points of interest, in and out of the fan world.

Hotel Chicagoan[edit]

Located at 67 W. Madison Street in Chicago and built in 1932 as an addition to the adjacent Hotel Morrison (site of Chicon 2), this hotel featured 450 rooms. The site of both hotels is now taken up by the Chase Tower.

List of Chicon Members[edit]

This list of members, labeled “Fantasy Fictioneers,” was taken from the program book, so it includes only those who signed up in advance. A number of names are obviously fakes, several fans are listed more than once under pseudonyms, and the goh and some committee members are missing. In short, it can’t be relied on as a list of who actually attended.


A second List[edit]

In the mid-50s, Bob Tucker did a retrospective on the Chicon which included an analysis of the membership records:

Members of the Illini Fantasy Fictioneers, 1939-40 (in order of registration)

  • Bob Tucker, Bloomington, Ill
  • Richard I. Meyer, Chicago
  • Mark Reinsberg, Chicago
  • Erle Korshak, Chicago
  • Sully Roberds, Formal, Ill
  • Forrest J Ackerman, Los Angeles
  • Ray Bradbury, Los Angeles
  • Morojo, Los Angeles
  • Pogo, Los Angeles
  • Fancy Featherstone, Los Angeles
  • Paul Freehafer, Pasadena, Cal.
  • Russ Hodgkins, Los Angeles
  • Donald Wollheim, New York City
  • Robert Lowndes, New York City
  • T. Bruce Yerke, Los Angeles
  • Tom Shields, Los Angeles
  • John Heaton, Brookville, Ont.
  • Julius Unger, Brooklyn, NY
  • Tom Houget, New York City
  • Lloyd Esbach, Reading, Pa.
  • Sam Brown, Los Angeles
  • Ted Carnell, London
  • R. D. Swisher, Winchester, Mass.
  • Tom. Wright, Martinez, Cal.
  • Henry Goldman, Pittsburg, Pa.
  • Tom Hinmon, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Hyman Tiger, New York City
  • L. R. Chauvenet, Esmont, Va.
  • Jack Speer, Washington DC
  • Joe Fortier, Oakland, Cal,
  • Joe Gilbert, Columbia, S.C.
  • William Schrader, Los Angeles
  • Abe Oshinsky, Brooklyn NY
  • George Tullis, Chicago
  • Ted Dikty, Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Jack Darrow, Chicago
  • Bob Osterman, La Grange,. Ill .
  • Ray Sienkiewicz, Scranton, Penna.
  • Charles Hornig, Elizabeth, N.J.
  • Milton Rothman, Washington DC
  • Lee Gregor, Washington DC
  • Vincent Manning, Decker, Indiana
  • Maurice Paul, Decker, Indiana
  • Marvis Manning, Decker, Indiana
  • Claude Davis jr ., Decker, Indiana
  • Earle Barr Hanson, Miami, Fla.
  • Donn Brazier, Milwaukee,- Wisc.
  • Bob Madle, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Jack Agnew, Philadelphia, Pa,
  • Allan Moss, Rutherford, N. J.
  • Lew Martin, Denver, Colorado
  • Harry Schmarje-, Muscatine, Iowa
  • Art Widner jr ., Bryantville, Mass.
  • Melvin Schmidt, Mt. Vernon, Ind.
  • H.C. Koenig, New York City
  • Gertrude Kuslan, West Haven, Conn.
  • Ron Holmes, Liverpool, England
  • Emrys Evans, Mountain Home, Idaho
  • Charles Hansen, Woodland, Wash.
  • Fred Hurter jr ., Red Rock, Ont.


Chicon attendees, in the order registered in the Guest Book, (beware of pseudonyms)

  • Bob Osterman, La Grange, Ill.
  • Hyman Tiger, New York City
  • Patti Grayson (no address )
  • Erle Korshak, Chicago
  • Jack Speer, Washington DC
  • Richard I. Meyer, Chicago
  • Bob Tucker, Bloomington, Ill.
  • Mark Reinsberg, Chicago
  • William Hamling, Chicago
  • Ted Dikty, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Mrs. Richard Frank, State College, Penna
  • Richard Frank - ditto
  • Hazel Shull, Millheim, Penna.
  • Jimmie Shull, Millheim, Penna.
  • G. E. Sylvester, Chicago
  • Ann Hafler, Chicago
  • H. S. Greenburg, Chicago
  • Milton Latzer, Chicago
  • Glave S. Bunch, South Bend, Ind
  • Thelma Bunch, South Bend, Ind
  • Robt. Thompson, Manhasset, NY
  • Morton Handler, Chicago
  • Earl Bielfeldt, Thornton, Ill.
  • Abe Oshinsky, Brooklyn, NY
  • Marvis Manning, Decker, Indiana
  • Mrs. M. Manning, ditto
  • "Oscar" ditto
  • Hugh Ryan, Chicago
  • Jack Rock, Oak Park, Ill
  • Donn Finn, ditto
  • Milty Rothman, Washington DC
  • Earl Singleton, Boston, Mass
  • Jack Chapman Miske, Cleveland, O.
  • Robert Madle, Philadelphia
  • Gordon Brooks, Wabash, Indiana.
  • Patil Freehafer, Pasadena, Cal.
  • Edward E. Smith, Jackson, Mich.
  • Walter Liebscher, Chicago
  • Art Widner jr., Bryantville, Mass.
  • Paul Klingbiel, West Bend, Ind.
  • Donn Brazier, Milwaukee, Wisc..
  • Ross Rocklynne, Cincinnati, 0.
  • Claude Degler, Newcastle, Ind.
  • John Millard, Jackson, Mich.
  • Richard Lewis, Oskaloosa, Pa.
  • C. Arthur Lewis - ditto –
  • B. Siegel, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Jerry Siegel, - ditto
  • "Chuck" Wright, Chicago
  • Chester S. Geier, Chicago
  • (name unknown; accompanied Geir.)
  • Russ Brunkhorst, Jeff.City, Mo.
  • Dicken Connor, Lafayette, Ind.
  • H. D. Josephson, Chicago
  • Forrest J Ackerman, Los Angeles
  • Johnny Michel, New York City
  • Donald Wollhelm, New York City
  • Elsie Balter, New York City
  • Robert Lowndes, Brooklyn NY
  • Cyril Kornbluth, New York City
  • Maurice Paul, Decker, Indiana
  • Ralph Milne Farley, Milwaukee W.
  • Dale Tarr, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Lew Martin, Denver, Colo.
  • A.R. Steber, Brooklyn, NY
  • Ray Palmer, Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Wallace Quitman, Sheboygan, Wisc.
  • Henry Gade, West Allis, Wisc.
  • Morris J. Steele, Milwaukee Edwin Benson, West Bend, Wisc.
  • Joe Angstrom, Cicero, Ill.
  • Pogo, Los Angeles
  • Charles Tanner, Cincinnati, O
  • Joseph Millard, Chicago
  • Robt. Moore Williams, Chicago
  • Louis Sampliner (Chicago ?? )
  • Julian Krupa, Argo, Ill.
  • Trudy.Kuslan, West Haven, Conn,
  • David Wright O 'Brien, Chicago
  • Roger C. Slattery, Chicago
  • Clarissa MacDougal Smith, Jackson, Mich.
  • Mrs. E. E. Smith, - ditto –
  • Mort Weisinger, New York City
  • Julius Schwartz, New York City
  • Ione Turk (or Turek ), Chicago
  • Otto Binder, Chicago
  • Don Wilcox, Chicago
  • James Norman, Chicago
  • William McGivern, Chicago
  • Mrs. Ad Reinsberg, Chicago
  • Olon F. Wiggins, Denver, Colo.
  • Morojo, Los Angeles
  • Frederick Shroyer, Decatur, Ind
  • George Tullis, Chicago
  • Julius Unger, Brooklyn, NY
  • E. E. Evans, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Elmer Perdue, Casper, Wyoming
  • D. Baastuk (no address )
  • Richard Banner, Chicago
  • John Mickay, Chicago
  • Salye Rolf, New York City
  • Helen Weinbaum Kasson, NYC.
  • David A. Kyle, Monticello, NY.
  • Dick Wilson, New York City
  • Clyde Condon, Chicago
  • Heights Jack Gilliespie, New York City
  • Chester Cohen, New York City
  • Julius Simmons, Chicago
  • Deborah Josephson, Chicago
  • Mrs. Ad Reinsberg, Chicago
  • C. W. Norwood, Bloomington, Ill.
  • Mrs. C. W. Norwood - ditto
  • Doris Beller, Chicago
  • Bertha Reinsberg, Chicago
  • Helena Reinsberg, Chicago
  • Mrs. Orvis Shull, Millheim, Pa,
  • Dr. Thelma Shull, Evanston, Ill.
  • Mrs. H. S. Greenberg, Chicago
  • Anton Yolke, Calgary, Canada
  • Mary Corrine Gray, Los Angeles
  • Donald Bern, Chicago
  • Daniel Hansen (no address )
  • J.L.K. Canazly, Chicago
  • E.W. S---- ? ?, Oak Park, Ill.
  • H.H. Stonebach, Chicago
  • Mason Knobler, Chicago
  • Louis Shipley, Villa Grove, Ill
  • Charles Demm, Coldwater, Mich.

There are eight known pseudonyms in the above list; it is anyone’s guess how many more there be.


(those who neglected to sign:)

  • Constance Meyer, Chicago
  • Mr. David Meyer, Chicago
  • Mrs. David Meyer, Chicago
  • Billie Von Till (address ?? )



Nycon I Worldcon Bidding,  Hugos Denvention I
Reasonator 1940
This is a convention page. Please extend it by adding information about the convention, including dates, GoHs, convention chairman, locale, sponsoring organization, external links to convention pages, awards given, the program, notable events, anecdotes, pictures, scans of publications, pictures of T-shirts, con reports, etc.

  1. Also listed as Forrest J Ackerman, Erdstelulov, Jack Erman, Mirta Forsto, Claire Voyant and Weaver Wright.
  2. Also listed as 4sJ, Erdstelulov, Jack Erman, Mirta Forsto, Claire Voyant and Weaver Wright.
  3. Also listed as Jack F Speer.
  4. Also listed as 4sJ, Forrest J Ackerman, Mirta Forsto, Claire Voyant and Weaver Wright.
  5. Also listed as 4sJ, Forrest J Ackerman, Erdstelulov, Mirta Forsto, Claire Voyant and Weaver Wright.
  6. Morojo and Forrest J Ackerman also listed separately.
  7. This might be Lynn Hickman, who published a fanzine called Gooseberries.
  8. Also listed as Cyril Kornbluth and Ivar Towers.
  9. Probably another Forrynym.
  10. Also listed as Samson Delilah Gottesman and Ivar Towers.
  11. Also listed as Melvin Korshak.
  12. Also listed as Erle Korshak.
  13. Also listed as Mark Reinsberg.
  14. Also listed as Mirta Forsto.
  15. Was this old-time L.A. pro, a friend of Ackerman’s, really a member or just another 4sJ pseudonym?
  16. Also listed as Bob Tucker.
  17. Also listed as Ray J. Sienkiewicz.
  18. Also listed as Midwest Marky.
  19. Also listed as Rajocz.
  20. Also listed as John A. Bristol.
  21. Cyril Kornbluth and Dick Wilson also listed separately.
  22. Also listed as Hoy Ping Pong.
  23. Also listed as 4sJ, Forrest J Ackerman, Erdstelulov, Jack Erman, Mirta Forsto and Weaver Wright.
  24. Also listed as Donald A. Wollheim.
  25. Also listed as Ivar Towers.
  26. Also listed as Braxton Wells.
  27. Also listed as 4sJ, Forrest J Ackerman, Erdstelulov, Jack Erman, Mirta Forsto and Claire Voyant.
  28. Forrest J Ackerman’s grandmother — was she really a member or did he use her name as yet another pseudonym?