Archive | Brief HistoriesRSS feed for this section

14, December 2016

You've Come a Long Way, Barbie

One of the iconic toys examined in the exhibit TOYS of the '50s, '60s and '70s is Barbie. She first came on the scene in 1959 as a stick-legged, white-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed doll with cherry red lips. Barbie represented the ultimate woman: She had the perfect body; in Ken, the perfect boyfriend; and all of the money, cars, outfits, and houses a girl could dream of. Read more »

8, December 2016

How Sugar Loaf Mound Got Its Name

Some of the most interesting projects get their start when you’re looking for something else entirely. I recently learned about the history of sugar making while trying to locate historic images of Sugar Loaf Mound, right next to Interstate 55 in south St. Louis. It’s the only existing Native American mound within St. Louis’s city limits. Read more »

25, November 2016

An STL-Area Original: Corkball

This post has been adapted from the 2006 MHM Press title Hidden Assets: Connecting the Past to the Future of St. Louis. Read more »

9, November 2016

The Aerial Crossroads of America Is Full of Surprises

While researching and writing The Aerial Crossroads of America: St. Louis’s Lambert Airport, I encountered many surprising facets of the airport’s history. Read more »

28, September 2016

With a Little Help from Her Friends

Today, we want to highlight a book close to the heart of St. Louis: The Awakening, by St. Louis–born author Kate Chopin. The book, published in 1899, was Chopin’s most famous and controversial work—it was banned for decades. Today it’s recognized as an important example of early feminist writing, but at the time it was published it was widely criticized for being too sexual, shocking, and indecent. Read more »

26, September 2016

King Baggot, the First Movie Star

The following is a guest post from Tom Stockman, editor of We Are Movie Geeks.

King of the Movies. The Most Photographed Man in the World. The Man Whose Face Is as Familiar as the Man in the Moon. These were just some of the accolades heaped upon St. Louis native King Baggot, the nation’s first male movie star. Read more »

25, August 2016

What We Wore on the Mother Road

Although Route 66—the historic highway that connected Los Angeles to Chicago—was officially decommissioned in 1985, it’s very much alive in the hearts of motorcyclists to this day. It’s now common to see jeans, T-shirts, leather vests, and jackets whizzing by on the old 2,400-mile-long road as travelers check off the ultimate box on their bucket lists. But what did past generations sport on the Mother Road? Read more »

19, August 2016

66 Through St. Louis: Chain of Rocks Bridge

St. Louis was the largest city on Route 66 between its ends in Chicago and Los Angeles, and traveling the highway through it was a different experience than traveling the highway through smaller towns and cities. St. Louis had endless choices, beginning with which Route 66 to take. The highway split into different paths through and around the city, and five different Mississippi River bridges would carry it at various times. The Chain of Rocks Bridge is easily the most well known of the five. It carried Route 66 from 1936 to 1955 and the 66 Bypass from 1955 to 1965. Read more »

10, August 2016

Missouri Historical Society: The Last 50 Years

The Missouri Historical Society celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2016. This is the second in a three-part series on the organization's history. You can read the first installment here and the second installment here. Read more »

9, August 2016

Missouri Historical Society: The Next 50 Years (1917–1967)

The Missouri Historical Society celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2016. This is the second in a three-part series on the organization's history. You can read the first installment here.
Read more »