The mighty pipe organ is the most recognizable aspect of the old Chicago Stadium.
There were a couple of other items that stood out about the place – especially in reference to hockey being played there.
The Stadium was the last NHL arena to retain the use of an analog dial-type large four-sided clock for timekeeping in professional hockey games. Boston Garden and the Detroit Olympia (as well as the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in its pre-NHL days) had identical scoreboards but replaced them with digital timers in the mid-1960s, with Boston having their digital four-sided clock in use for the 1969-70 NHL season. Built by Bulova and installed in Chicago in 1943, each side of the clock had a large diameter 20-minute face in the center that kept the game time with a set of shorter black-colored minute and longer red-colored sweep-second hands, and a pair of smaller, 5-minute capacity faces for penalty timekeeping, to the left and right of the primary 20-minute face — with each of the 5-minute penalty timers having its own single hand. The “inner” face of each penalty timer had a dial covering the center section of the “outer” penalty timer’s face behind it — the set of two concentric faces for each penalty timer dial could handle two penalties for each set, with an illuminated “2” on each penalty timer dial lighting up to display a minor penalty infraction. It was difficult to read how much time was left in a period of play on the main game timer’s large face. Each minute of play was marked by a longer line on each third second increment on the central main dial. The difficulty was compounded on the main central dial from the aforementioned minute and sweep-second hands turning during gameplay.
That clock eventually was replaced by a four-sided scoreboard with a digital clock in 1976 by the Day Sign Company of Toronto, much like the one used at the end of the 1960s (and constructed by Day Sign Company) to replace the nearly identical dial-type clock in the Boston Garden, and then in 1984 by another, this one with a color electronic message board. That latter scoreboard was built by White Way Sign, which would build scoreboards for the United Center.
The Stadium was also one of the last three NHL arenas (the others being Boston Garden and the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium) to have a shorter-than-regulation ice surface, as their construction predated the regulation. The distance was taken out of the neutral zone.
Here’s a bit more music from the old Stadium: