Archive | From the CollectionsRSS feed for this section

18, October 2010

In Memoriam: Leonor Testa Feliciano

The Missouri History Museum lost a good friend recently. Leonor Testa Feliciano, M.D., passed away September 11, 2010, after a valiant battle with cancer. Leonor is remembered among History Museum staff for her long-term commitment to sharing her Filipino culture and heritage. A warm, compassionate, and outspoken adviser, she pushed our exhibition teams to present objects and stories that put people first. 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 »

21, September 2010

If You Don’t Know What to Do, Don’t Do It!

September is National Preparedness Month. To most of us these days, that means being ready for natural disasters, with a supply of candles, water, and a radio. But back in the 1940s and 1950s threats of air raids, blackouts, and gas and bomb attacks were real.

Because we just don’t see literature like this anymore, we now bring you some brochures from the Missouri History Museum’s Archives:

The “Civilian Defense Index” of 1942, published by the Massachusetts Indemnity Insurance Company, offers tips on both natural disasters and human-made attacks, along with first aid. Read more »

8, September 2010

Treasuring Our Resources

We’re living at an important moment in history, when many are coming to understand that we live on a planet with limited resources, and that it’s up to us to care for them. Recently, the Missouri History Museum transferred what were once considered some of its most valuable assets to another nonprofit organization, giving new life and possibility to a broader community. 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 »

3, August 2010

The Saint of St. Louis

The current display in the Library and Research Center reading room complements the History Museum’s Vatican Splendors exhibit. The display explores objects in our collection pertaining to Catholics in the St. Louis area.

Although there are only nine American saints, the St. Louis metropolitan region can claim one. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769–1852) grew up and entered religious life in Grenoble, France (which Americans may recall as the scene of the 1968 Winter Olympics). Read more »

3, August 2010

Rolling with the Changes: Keeping Up with Storage Technology

During my time in the Missouri History Museum’s conservation lab as the Williams intern, I have enjoyed working on a variety of projects—each rewarding in their own way. One of the largest and most visually interesting projects I have participated in is the rehousing of the Missouri History Museum’s rolled textile collection. The word “textile” refers to any goods that are produced through weaving, knitting, or felting, which includes clothing items such as gowns or household items like bedding and draperies. Read more »

30, July 2010

Ode to Glory: Restoring a Grand Collection of Costumes

Dancer and performer Katherine Dunham gave a large portion of her fanciful collection of costumes to the Missouri History Museum in 1991. Miss Dunham and her dance troupe wore the costumes on stages around the world, starting in the 1930s. Many of these ingenious designs were created by Dunham’s husband, renowned theater designer John Pratt.

Since receiving the collection, the Museum has meticulously conserved 45 of the costumes and related textiles, which were included in the recent exhibition Beyond the Dance. Read more »

21, June 2010

Pocket Treasures

One of the side benefits of rehousing our special collections material is that we find wonderful little treasures. We have a three-volume set of books, The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, to headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805–6–7. The volumes were published in 1895. We were making phase boxes (protective two-piece boxes or enclosures, made out of heavy stock paper) for them when a volunteer started pulling out maps from a pocket in the third volume. Each map was folded down into 4" x 7" dimensions. 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 »