Fall harvest
Some of the textiles in our collection
Some of the textiles in our collection... Read More
23, November 2015

Following in James’s and Molly’s Footsteps, Ireland Style

From June 2011 to February 2015, the Missouri History Museum posted the letters of Civil War soldier James E. Love to his fiancée, Molly, on this site. As part of that project, I visited the three battlefields where James fought, and wrote about my experiences following in the footsteps of his war service. Earlier this year, the Museum published James’s letters as a book titled My Dear Molly: The Civil War Letters of Captain James Love. Read more »

16, November 2015

St. Louis's French Connection and Coffee


Most coffee historians are amazed to find out that coffee played such a big part in St. Louis’s history. Because the city is in “flyover country,” without easy access to a coastal shipping port, many people don’t realize that, historically, St. Louis was at the center of a major trade route. Many factors came into play to create something of a “perfect storm” for the coffee industry to boom in St. Louis. Read more »

12, November 2015

Do You Still Have the Buffalo Head? and Other Burning Questions

As though they are inquiring about an old acquaintance, visitors to the Missouri History Museum occasionally ask about a particular artifact. Some objects, such as Charles Lindbergh’s trophies, Veiled Prophet Court gowns, and World War I weapons, have been gone from view for some time. But I’ve managed to locate some requested items in the Currents and Reflections galleries, and I’ve marveled at the reactions that followed. Read more »

9, November 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Mother Goose in Wartime

Perhaps one of the more unique World War I artifacts in the Museum’s collection is a small booklet in the Library and Research Center titled Mother Goose in Wartime. The collection of wartime-themed nursery rhymes was illustrated by Gladys M. Wheat (the first female faculty member of the University of Missouri’s art department) and other University of Missouri art students. The content was written by George F. Nardin, also of the University of Missouri. Read more »

26, October 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Joseph Garneau Weld

In the early years of the war many Missourians went overseas as drivers for the fleet of ambulances operating across France to carry the wounded from the front lines to hospitals. Among famous World War I ambulance drivers—including Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway—was St. Louisan Joseph Garneau Weld. Weld, who went by “Garneau,” was born in Baltimore in 1897 and grew up in St. Louis. He joined the American Field Service, an American volunteer ambulance corps under the French Army, in October 1916. Read more »

15, October 2015

A Most-Happy Surprise: Coffee Exhibit Delights Future Groom

A few weeks before the premiere of Coffee: The World in Your Cup & St. Louis in Your Cup, a visitor asked me a question about offerings in the Museum Shop. She was planning her son’s wedding rehearsal dinner at Bixby’s (the Museum’s restaurant), and because he is so fond of coffee she had chosen to use it as a theme. Boy, was she shocked to learn about the Coffee exhibit right here in the Museum! We chatted about her ideas for table favors and decorations, and I said to her, “Before you go to the gift shop, I’d like to show you something.” Read more »

22, September 2015

Gallery Glimpse: The Art of Coffee

What has approximately 260,000 coffee beans and requires the help of more than 40 MHM staff and volunteers? It's a five-panel mosaic composed of six shades of coffee beans, each one glued by hand onto the panels. When complete, the five panels will be hung together to form an 8 by 20 foot view of the St. Louis skyline, which will be on display in Coffee: The World in Your Cup & St. Louis in Your Cup, opening October 3. Read more »

21, September 2015

World War I Artifacts and Memories: The Preparedness Movement

As war broke out across Europe in August 1914, America was a country split. U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, a leader of the Progressive Movement, adopted a stance of strict neutrality for the United States, stating to Congress on August 19, 1914: Read more »

11, September 2015

Something's Brewing: Coffee Exhibit Opens October 3

By the end of the year, the Missouri History Museum will have opened an astonishing six exhibits, including a permanent children’s exhibit (History Clubhouse) and the popular A Walk in 1875 St. Louis. On October 3, we’ll open our final exhibit for 2015: Coffee: The World in Your Cup & St. Louis in Your Cup. Read more »

28, August 2015

Missouri Listory: Creepy Objects in Our Collection


Napoleon Complex  

After his death while exiled on the island of St. Helena in 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte was still making impressions. His attending doctors took a gypsum cast of his head, which was later reproduced in bronze and plaster. Before the advent of cameras, death masks were made to preserve the likeness of the deceased. This practice dates back to ancient Egypt. Read more »