Archives

30, August 2017

The Case of the Mysterious Blue Writing

One of the most magnificent rooms in all of mid-19th-century St. Louis was . . . a private library in a Carondelet home. That home, and many of the more than 900 books within it, belonged to Henry T. Blow, a lawyer who made most of his fortune through manufacturing and mining. He also spent time in Venezuela and Brazil as a U.S. ambassador. Blow is a prominent St. Louis figure even now, as is his daughter, Susan, the well-educated, well-traveled woman who brought public kindergarten to the United States. Read more »

29, August 2017

A Panoramic Preview

Over the past several years, the Missouri History Museum has helped people experience different aspects of St. Louis history like never before. A Walk in 1875 St. Louis explored one amazing year in our city’s past, Route 66 revealed local history through a road that connected our region to the nation, and #1 in Civil Rights brought to light our city’s incredible contributions to the continued struggle for equality. Our newest exhibit, Panoramas of the City, continues this tradition. Read more »

27, August 2017

The St. Louis Epidemic That Wasn't

Major Walter Reed, a surgeon in the U.S. Army at the turn of the 20th century, is typically given credit for proving the connection between mosquitos and yellow fever. But what if he wasn’t the first person to observe the link between the two? Read more »

26, August 2017

Jefferson Bank: A Defining Moment

The protests against unequal hiring practices at Jefferson Bank and Trust, which lasted for seven months, mark the largest—and most contentious—civil rights struggle in the history of St. Louis. Many local civil rights activists were involved, including William “Bill” Clay, Ivory Perry, Norman Seay, Charles and Marian Oldham, and Robert Curtis. Read more »

24, August 2017

Our Burning Love for Nitrate Film

The end of August marks the halfway point for our Picturing 1930s St. Louis project. For almost a full year now we’ve been going through all the remaining negatives created by the Sievers Studio during the 1930s. We’ve found lots of great images, learned some interesting facts about the photographers who created them, and gotten a glimpse of what St. Louis was like during the early part of that decade. We’ve also achieved an important project goal: We’ve identified and cataloged all of the nitrate film. Read more »

22, August 2017

The Great Divorce

Throughout the 1860s the entire 588-square-mile area that now makes up St. Louis County and St. Louis City was ruled as one by the St. Louis County Court. Back then more than 300,000 people occupied the land east of Grand Avenue (the city’s boundary at the time), while the vast space beyond was home to barely 31,000 people. Older towns such as Florissant and small train stops such as Kirkwood and Ferguson sat in a sea of undeveloped land and farm fields. Read more »

18, August 2017

Meriwether Lewis in St. Louis

Though his time in our river town was short, Meriwether Lewis’s efforts as a trailblazer and founding father of the Louisiana Territory ensure he’ll forever be associated with St. Louis. Read more »

16, August 2017

Racial Tensions in St. Louis Waiters' Unions

If you went out to dinner in St. Louis during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, odds are your waiter would have been an African American male. At the time, the majority of waiters were black, and the position was seen as one of the most desirable ones available to black workers due to its relatively substantial wage and lack of physical labor. The security African Americans felt in this role was short lived though, because in the 1910s white men saw the same benefits of waiting tables and attempted to force black men out of the industry. Read more »