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Artifacts from the MHM collection
1, October 2014

When History and Video Games Collide

Recently, as I was browsing through our collections, I came across a piece of hardtack. I paused in surprise, and thought, “Wow. This is actually a thing.” Hardtack is something that I use every day but didn’t realize actually exists (or existed). You see, I use hardtack in a virtual world, one in which I fight for the good of humanity as I try to save the world from its own narcissistic tendencies. Read more »

22, September 2014

The Storytelling Animal and the Role of the Museum

There is a lot of diversity within humanity, and how could there not be? We grow up in different areas and live within a wide range of lifestyles. We are immersed in cultures and subcultures that help to define us. Yet, even with our differences, we are human, and we are much the same. We try to live our lives to the best of our abilities and work toward a better future for ourselves and our loved ones. We grow old, and we hope that our lives, our story, had meaning. In this we are human, one and all, unchanged. Read more »

14, May 2014

William Clark and His Indian Museum

Most of us in the museum field cannot resist the opportunity to visit similar institutions, especially on travels out of town. When I accompanied my husband on his business trips, my first choice for our leisure-time activities was unalterably the nearest museum, preferably one that focused on local history, but actually any kind would do. (My husband favored golf courses.) Read more »

7, May 2014

Reckless Demand: How Overharvesting Necessitated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918

Commercially sold wild game was a hot commodity in the 19th century, and St. Louis played a major part in its distribution. Restaurants and hotels across the country craved the game birds of Missouri and Illinois, which caused overharvesting of the country’s wildlife. Some species were pushed to extinction, while others have yet to return to the numbers they once maintained. Read more »

10, February 2014

History Unfolds Through Conservation

In 2011 and 2012, I could often be found holed up in the document processing room in the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center, going through a collection of material related to Brig. Gen. David P. Grier. In addition to being a Union soldier during the Civil War and a businessman in late 19th-century St. Louis, D. P. Grier was my great-great-great-grandfather. Read more »

18, November 2013

Finding Meaning at the Missouri History Museum

When I first began working as a graduate research assistant at the Missouri History Museum, I was not sure how my background in sociology and anthropology, which had a cultural emphasis, would be applied. My idea of being a cultural anthropologist has always meant studying a specific living culture or creating an ethnography of the cultural meaning found within the group. However, while working with David Lobbig, curator of environmental life, my view completely changed. I am now finding myself creating ethnographies of those who lived in the past. Read more »

20, December 2012

200 Years of Grimms' Fairytales

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected and published their first edition of fairytales in Germany back in 1812. The book, Children's and Household Tales, is more commonly known as Grimms' Fairy Tales. Many of the 86 folktales that were included in the book are still popular with children today, such as stories about Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Snow White.

This copy of Hansel and Gretel in our collection was published as a Little Golden Book, in 1945. Read more »

11, April 2012

The Sinking of the Titanic: A St. Louis Connection

Over a hundred years ago, late in the evening of April 14, 1912, the supposedly unsinkable ocean liner known as the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. She sank within a few hours, in the early morning of April 15. St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Carlos F. Hurd and his wife, Katherine, had just embarked on a European vacation aboard the RMS Carpathia, which came to the rescue of the passengers who had safely evacuated the doomed Titanic and were adrift in lifeboats. Read more »

13, January 2012

In Search of Spanx

Recently, a researcher requested an appointment to look at some clothing items that had belonged to one of his distant relatives but were since donated to the Museum’s collections. As we all oohed and aahed over a pair of beautiful late-19th-century silk and lace drawers, the researcher commented...

Photo at left: Satin corset, ca. 1895. Missouri History Museum. Read more »

19, December 2011

A Thought-Provoking Find

 One of the things I appreciate most about being an employee at the Missouri History Museum is the enjoyment I get from working with history buffs like myself. As museum professionals we take any opportunity to share our own enthusiasm for historical artifacts with our co-workers. Read more »