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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 »

29, August 2016

This Is Your Life

Soon after I started volunteering as a gallery attendant at the Missouri History Museum this past January, I learned that the Museum was looking for former St. Louis broadcasters to help the moving images and sound lab catalog 75 years’ worth of audio recordings, film, and videotape that had been donated mostly by local radio and TV stations. After spending the majority of my television career here, I was happy to volunteer, especially to archive material from my longtime employer, KMOX/KMOV-TV. Read more »

18, July 2014

Operation Turkey: A Fun Find in Our Video Collection


In the late 1960s, KMOX TV produced this commercial for Falstaff Brewery, sponsor of the channel's "Falstaff First Run Theatre" series. In this introduction to the showing of the WWII comedy Operation Petticoat, the host takes a moment to enjoy a Falstaff Golden Tap beer and suggests serving some to your family at the Thanksgiving holiday. My favorite line in presenting the movie is, "But first, a reminder about Operation Turkey." For more videos from our collection, visit our YouTube channel. Read more »

26, June 2014

Van Gogh Visits St. Louis in Vintage Video

The Missouri History Museum has a vast array of videos in its Sound and Moving Images collection, which we occasionally share on our blog. Today I came across this gem from 1969, when the St. Louis Art Museum was known as the City Art Museum (it changed to its current name in 1971). Read more »

27, May 2014

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To: A Look at Old Commercials and Outdated Technology

The Missouri History Museum has the largest regional media archive in the country. According to Klara Foeller, curator of Moving Image and Sound at the Museum, one of the collections we are currently preparing to digitize is the Epsilon Dalzell Premier (Premier Studios) collection. The bulk of the collection is composed of television commercials for St. Louis companies such as Purina, Anheuser-Busch, Monarch Knapp, and Brown Shoe. These commercials were broadcast to a regional audience, including those in Missouri, Georgia, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Ohio. Read more »

8, January 2013

A “Dangerous” Film, or the Case of the Misbegotten Label

Film cans often sit for years on shelves, awaiting the care of a professional film archivist, curator, or qualified preservationist to identify, document, repair, and conserve their contents. One of the more problematic kinds of film that we occasionally encounter in our work is nitrate film. The earliest film base (the material to which the film emulsion adheres) was made of nitrate cellulose. Read more »

29, August 2012

Baby, It's Cold Inside: Freezing Film for Long-term Preservation

In 2011 the Missouri History Museum installed a state-of-the-art freezer for long-term preservation of deteriorating nitrate and acetate films and still photography. Over time, old film bases begin to decay. Nitrate film causes one set of problems, acetate another, but both sets of problems can be resolved by proper preservation assessment and cold storage. Frozen storage halts the deterioration process for both film base types, giving us decades in which to find funding to perform further preservation and duplication of these relics. Read more »

28, September 2011

Moved by Film Preservation

I received an internship in the Missouri History Museum's Moving Image and Sound Collections rather unexpectedly—though happily—after spending the last 14 years working in the field of film preservation and archiving. It is a unique profession, one that has offered varying degrees of training and experience while working in rooms without windows and in basements and cold storage vaults. Read more »