28, August 2015

Missouri Listory: Creepy Objects in Our Collection

Napoleon Complex  

After his death while exiled on the island of St. Helena in 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte was still making impressions. His attending doctors took a gypsum cast of his head, which was later reproduced in bronze and plaster. Before the advent of cameras, death masks were made to preserve the likeness of the deceased. This practice dates back to ancient Egypt. Read more »

25, August 2015

Unearthing St. Louis's Prehistory

As an anthropology and archaeology major, I usually work with small and incomplete objects, since sitting in the ground for hundreds or thousands of years is typically quite rough on artifacts. While interning this summer at the Library and Research Center of the Missouri Historical Society, I received the unique opportunity to work with some of the Society’s prehistoric collections. Since information on the ancient people who lived in the St. Read more »

21, August 2015

Mary Taussig Hall: A Lifetime Committed to Social Reform

On August 12, Mary Taussig (Tompkins) Hall passed away at age 104. Mrs. Hall spent most of her long life helping citizens of the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri. During the 1930s and 1940s, she became part of the social movement arising from the New Deal, focusing primarily on child welfare and race relations. Read more »

19, August 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: “Chow” Time

William H. Danforth was born in Mississippi County, Missouri, in 1870. An ambitious man, in 1894 he founded the Purina Mills Company at age 24. A significant producer of animal feed, Purina Mills later expanded into breakfast cereals. After its cereals received an endorsement from Webster Edgerly, founder of the pseudo-health and social movement known as Ralstonism, Purina Mills renamed itself Ralston-Purina. The company experienced great success in the early 1900s, in large part due to World War I. Read more »

12, August 2015

Making Connections

“Could you help me find Third Street and Morgan?” I had barely begun leading a tour through A Walk in 1875 St. Louis when a woman asked me this question. While preparing for this tour I had pored over each enlarged panel of Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis; studied landmarks, churches, homes of famous St. Louisans; and taken reams of notes. I couldn’t recall a historic building on that particular corner. Read more »

6, August 2015

Mapping the Weird: The 9 Strangest Things on Pictorial St. Louis

While researching A Walk in 1875 St. Louis, I spent more than a year poring over Pictorial St. Louis, the incredible map that is a focal point of the exhibit. With more than 40 square miles of 1875 St. Louis before me, I was certain I would find some interesting details hidden on the pages. While there was no shortage of surprises, there were a few I just couldn’t get over… Read more »