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27, October 2017

The Premiere of Our EDPremier Project

We have some pretty exciting news to share: Through the generosity of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we recently secured funding to fully process the film portion of our Epsilon-Dalzell Premier Collection. This means that for the next three years, we’ll be cleaning, repairing, and preserving thousands of rolls of film created by a company that played a major role in St. Louis’s advertising heyday. Read more »

1, October 2017

Curator Faves: Environmental Life Edition

Our region’s location at the center of the continent, with many great rivers, is enviable for building community and culture. Geography and environments collide and combine here, creating tremendous biological and resource diversity. As an environmental historian, I’m interested in the choices we make—as our region's current residents—and how those choices will (or won't) sustain future generations. As a curator, I want to preserve and exhibit artifacts that get people excited about our history of decisions. Read more »

11, September 2017

A 9/11 Rescue Worker Remembers

Editor’s Note: This post contains descriptions of what it was like at Ground Zero in the days after 9/11 that some may find disturbing.

As a young boy, Missouri native Dennis Grooms knew he wanted to be a firefighter. Inspired by the 1970s TV show Emergency!, which told the story of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s fictional Squad 51, Grooms wanted to be part of the action and help people. In the days following September 11, 2001, he did just that. Read more »

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 »