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Artifacts from the MHM collection
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

One hundred years ago, late in the evening of April 14, 1912, the supposedly unsinkable ocean liner known as the 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. Hurd recognized that he was about to get the newspaper scoop of his life. 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 »

31, October 2011

Remembering Joseph Pulitzer on the Centennial of His Death

It has been 100 years since the death of Joseph Pulitzer (Oct. 29, 1911), an individual who lived a rather remarkable life. Born April 10, 1847, Pulitzer immigrated to the United States from the Jewish community of Mako, Hungary, at the age of 17 in 1864, having been recruited to join the Union army. He served until the end of the war, and unable to find work on the East Coast, made his way to St. Louis, where after a string of odd, short-lived jobs, he found his calling as an investigative journalist for the Westliche Post, one of St. Louis's German-language newspapers. Read more »

7, October 2011

An Apple for Its Day

The design team in the Missouri History Museum’s (MHM's) Exhibitions and Research division is composed of longstanding Apple users. All of what a visitor sees in the galleries of the Museum was started on the pages of a sketch pad and then some version of a Mac. Having been at MHM for nearly 15 years, I’ve worked on a number of computers in the Mac line and now travel to meetings with one in tow, it having become a vital tool in my day-to-day work and play. Like many other people, I am also amazed when reflecting on how this relatively small machine has changed my life over the years. Read more »