Archive | From the CollectionsRSS feed for this section

17, June 2011

Sketches of War

As a conservation lab technician I have the privilege of working with objects from the Missouri History Museum’s collections, and each new day comes with another historically significant object. One of my responsibilities is assessing the condition of artifacts that are tentatively included in the Museum’s upcoming exhibit, The Civil War in Missouri (opening November 11, 2011). While examining several of these objects, I noticed that many of the pencil drawings were all signed by the same artist: Alex Simplot. Read more »

9, June 2011

How an American Was Kidnapped by Chinese Bandits in 1925

“Held Prisoner by Chinese Bandits for Ten Weeks” ran the headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sunday Magazine on January 24, 1926. “Dr. Harvey James Howard, Department Head at Peking Union Medical College in Peking, China tells the colorful story of his adventures while a prisoner of Chinese bandits.” His story may have been colorful, but it was also harrowing. Dr. Howard was never sure he would survive his adventures with the Hung Hutze in the summer of 1925. Read more »

2, June 2011

The Heavy on Mortar Shells

Museum professionals have to be creative in responding to the different types of challenges that arise in the workplace. For example, how do you move a museum artifact that weighs more than 200 pounds? The artifact in question is a mortar shell that will be included in the Missouri History Museum’s upcoming exhibit The Civil War in Missouri (opening November 11, 2011). During the Civil War, this type of shell could be launched more than two miles using a Model 1861 13-inch Siege and Seacoast mortar. These mortars could be used on either land or water. Read more »

1, June 2011

Diary of Adam Burns Smith

Adam Burns Smith enlisted with Co. B of the 33rd Missouri Infantry Volunteers (Union) in Jefferson City on August 14, 1862. The next year Smith found himself in the midst of Gen. U. S. Grant’s protracted campaign to capture Vicksburg. Like many soldiers, Smith kept a journal to record the daily events of his life. His lengthy, and often detailed, entries described operations along the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi and around Helena, Arkansas, including skirmishes with rebel forces at Fort Pemberton near Greenwood, Mississippi, and gunboat maneuvers. Read more »

10, May 2011

Census Research Takes Root

I have always loved the census. So much of history is made up of military conquests, political maneuvers, grand inventions, and tragic disasters. But what about all the people who simply had to deal with the consequences of those events? Unlike their more prominent counterparts, most people in the past left us no written record, no diaries, no letters, no manuscripts detailing every glorious achievement in their lives. Those are the people who interest me, and the census gives me a way to find out who they were. Read more »

5, May 2011

Splendid Experiences

Four interns in the Museum’s Education division—Rebecca Cain, Marc Hajjar, Sarah Haspiel, and Crystal Northcutt—wrote about their experiences in developing and implementing an educational program for students by using the content of the recent Splendid Heritage exhibit at the Museum. Read more »

23, March 2011

Lynch Slave Pen/Meyer Brothers Drug Company

Lynch's slave pen at 104 Locust in downtown St. Louis, ca. 1852. From the Thomas M.
16, March 2011

Learning About the Osage

When I pitched the idea of writing about the Osage people in Missouri, my thought was to write about the general history of their time in the state, before a series of treaties, eight in total dating from 1808 to 1865, forced their removal from Missouri and eventually into the state of Oklahoma. I started to do some reading, and a few stories within that larger story just stayed with me. So instead of a general history here are a few interesting stories I learned about the Osage. They involve William Clark, the young Osage woman Mohongo, and the Osage word Chouteau Tah Wan. Read more »

8, March 2011

Napoleon's Posthumous Power

Although we sometimes add a local component to our exhibits, the Treasures of Napoleon touring exhibition fills its gallery completely. Visitors may be surprised to learn that we do have a number of Napoleon-related objects in our permanent collections at the Museum. These objects include coins, medals, and military items from soldiers who fought for and against the emperor. Of course, there are also some images of Napoleon that adorn objects from the St. Read more »

15, February 2011

The Splendid Heritage of Native American Languages

Editor’s Note: In December 2010, Sara Murphy, a graduate student in the University of British Columbia’s School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, spent a two week practicum at the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center. In conjunction with the Splendid Heritage exhibition, one of her practicum projects was to examine and reflect on the books in the MHM Library that are written in Native American languages.

In the back of a Cherokee-language New Testament from 1860, I found a newspaper article, sepia-toned and cracking. Read more »