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Artifacts from the MHM collection
29, October 2010

Haute Couture History

French designer Christian Dior made this rich red bubble dress circa 1956. He understood how architecture could translate into structurally challenging dresses, and this style of dress is a wonderful example of how he blended his love of architecture and fashion.

The bubble dress is a feat of engineering made possible by the inner construction and draping. Read more »

8, October 2010

Here Come the Brides

Ten years ago, if you asked me for my opinion on the most popular month for a wedding, I would have answered May or June. Today, the spring and early summer months still bear witness to many a bride walking down the aisle. However, brides who don’t want to chance a 90-degree wedding day in the summer or wait two years for their dream venue to be available have begun to plan their weddings in the fall. Read more »

26, August 2010

Celebrating Mass in New Madrid

Visitors who have enjoyed the Vatican Splendors exhibit at the Missouri History Museum may want to visit the current display in the Library and Research Center reading room, which features artifacts and documents related to Catholics in Missouri. Among the artifacts is a pair of pewter casters used during Mass at the first Catholic Church in New Madrid, Missouri.

St. Isidore Church in New Madrid was established in 1789, the same year the town was founded. Read more »

9, July 2010

Product of Liberia

My search for Liberian items in our History Museum collections began as I read an article describing the upcoming annual Alpha Kappa Alpha convention happening in St. Louis from July 9th through the 17th. The oldest African American sorority (founded in 1908 by St. Read more »

17, May 2010

Silver goblet presented to Mr. Hamilton of the G. W. Graham by Mary P. Maguire, 1864


The launchings of James B. Eads’s gunboats at the Carondelet shipyard became something of a popular event during the Civil War and were advertised in the local papers. As the twin-turreted Chickasaw prepared to launch on the morning of February 10, 1862, a crowd estimated at 150 to 200 gathered to witness the occasion. Read more »

31, March 2010

Missal Bifolium, ca. 1450–1470

This artifact is an amazing, unique piece of the Missouri History Museum's collections—a 15th-century Italian illuminated manuscript. How did it come to be in St. Louis in the 21st century? It was collected by philanthropist and Missouri History Museum president (1907–1913, 1925–1930) William K. Read more »

13, January 2010

From the Collections—Hand-crafted Brew Kettle, ca. 1840

One of St. Louis’s early beer brewers, J. Adam Lemp was the first to produce lager west of Philadelphia. In 1840, he established the Western Brewery at 37 South Second Street, between Walnut and Elm. Read more »

13, December 2009

From the Collections—Civil War Flag Conservation

The museum has recently undertaken a major conservation effort on several Civil War flags. Take a look at some of the dramatic changes seen to just one-- the Confederate First National 8-star flag of the 1st Missouri Infantry.

Regiments were required to bear two flags--regimental colors and a national flag. This flag was reputedly flown by the 1st Missouri Infantry, a unit that fought in the Vicksburg and Atlanta campaigns and sustained heavy losses during the war. Read more »

13, December 2009

From the Collections—Officer’s Uniform of Lt. William Harvey Smith, 1890-1898


African American soldiers made significant military contributions while fighting for the Union during the Civil War. After the war, the U.S. Army created four black regiments—the 24th and 25th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry—as part of the Regular Army. Read more »