Archive | From the CollectionsRSS feed for this section

16, May 2017

The First Police Rogues' Gallery in America

Would you believe that photography became a crime-fighting tool fairly early in its existence, at a time when some viewed the technology as utterly unbelievable and others had never even heard of it? What if someone told you that this law-enforcement innovation developed right here in St. Louis? Read more »

19, April 2017

Curator Faves: Clothing Edition

The Missouri History Museum has a wonderful clothing and textile collection, and I've had the honor of being responsible for it for almost 17 years. Because the collection is made of up more than 18,000 pieces, it’s hard to know every single thing within it, but by working on exhibits, writing articles, giving tours, and meeting with researchers, I learn more every day. To me the collection is like a treasure trove of two of my favorite things: history and fashion. I find something I’ve never seen before almost every time I go into storage, which keeps my job interesting. Read more »

22, December 2016

The Spirit of St. Louis Holidays Past

The holidays are a time of reflection and tradition, and these pictures prove that many St. Louis holiday customs are still going strong: The Nutcracker still drifts dreamily across the stage at Powell Hall, cathedrals and department stores still pull out all the stops with their decorations, and children are in equal turns thrilled by and wary about jolly old St. Nick.

See how the holidays in St. Louis have changed—and stayed the same—by clicking through the images below.   Read more »

16, September 2016

St. Louis Is Full of Hot Air

St. Louisans' love for events such as the Great Forest Park Balloon Race is nothing new! Did you know St. Louis once boasted its own balloon manufacturers, hosted international balloon races, and served as a center for learning and innovation in lighter-than-air travel during the 1904 World's Fair?

To get your fill of hot air with some historic images from our collection, just click through the gallery below! Read more »

1, July 2016

Looking Back: Float Designs for the 1929 VP Parade

The Veiled Prophet (VP) parade has been an iconic St. Louis event for over 130 years. Inspired by the Mardis Gras festivities in New Orleans, the Veiled Prophet Organization (a group of St. Louis businessmen) launched the parade and related pageantry to boost interest in the city's week-long harvest festival. The first VP parade took place in October 1878 and featured floats purchased from New Orleans Mardis Gras organizers. In later years, artists designed floats specifically for the St. Louis parade. Read more »

27, May 2016

Looking Back: The Great Cyclone of 1896

Shortly after 5pm on Wednesday, May 27, 1896, one of the largest tornadoes in American history swept through St. Louis, wreaking havoc on the city and neighboring East St. Louis. More than 250 people were killed in just 20 minutes. This tragic incident remains one of the most costly and devastating natural disasters in American history. Click through the gallery below to relive the aftermath of that fateful day through images from our collection.  Read more »

25, May 2016

Looking Back: The St. Louis Arena

Today the St. Louis Blues call downtown's Scottrade Center home, but many of you likely have fond memories of their former home—the St. Louis Arena. Opened in 1929 in St. Louis's Dogtown neighborhood, the Arena was known as the Checkerdome from 1977 to 1983 after the building and the team were purchased by Ralston Purina. The iconic St. Louis building was demolished after the Blues moved to their new home, the Kiel Center (now the Scottrade Center), in 1994. Click through the gallery below to see the Arena's story through images and artifacts from our collection. Read more »

11, April 2016

Looking Back: Busch Memorial Stadium

We're excited about the start of baseball season here at MHM! To celebrate, we dove into the archives for this special collection of photographs of the original Busch Memorial Stadium (1966–2005). Renowned architectural photographer Henry T. "Mac" Mizuki snapped these shots in 1967, less than a year after the orignal Busch Stadium opened to the public, and captured images of spaces most Cardinals fans would never get the chance to see. Click through the gallery below to check them out! Read more »

4, February 2016

All Aboard! Historic Images of St. Louis Union Station

With news that renovations and improvments at Union Station have begun, we dove into our photograph and print collection to find some historic photos of this spectacular building, completed in 1874. Read more »

20, April 2015

From the Collections: Whimsical Mechanical Banks

Cast iron mechanical banks became popular in the 19th century after the Civil War. During the war the Union and Confederate sides began creating their own paper money to help deal with the shortage on coins. However, the public was leery of the new currency due to its lack of intrinsic value. Coins would retain some value due to the metal, regardless of whatever occurred within the government. Penny banks were meant to educate children about the importance of being thrifty through the use of a fun and exciting toy. Read more »