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28, November 2017

5 Wacky Panoramas Details Hiding in Plain Sight

Thanks to their large widths, historic panoramic photos are able to cram lots of details into one space—often they aren’t even things the photographers meant to capture! They’re small snippets that live in the margins, details that, in the case of our Panoramas of the City exhibit, reveal the everyday lives of the people who called St. Louis home in the first half of the 20th century. 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 »

26, July 2017

St. Louis in the Great Depression

When the stock market crashed in 1929, St. Louis was among the largest cities in the country. With a population of more than 820,000 people, it ranked seventh overall, right between Cleveland and Baltimore. As a result, the early years of the Great Depression hit St. Louis hard. Read more »

29, June 2017

Meet the Repeat Customers

What have we discovered now that we’re halfway through our Picturing 1930s St. Louis project? That the Sievers Studio sure had a knack for creating repeat customers—with some intriguing outcomes.

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31, May 2017

Now Play Ball . . . On the Radio?

What could have captured the attention of this many St. Louisans in the early years of the Great Depression? Cardinals baseball, of course! In this photo taken for the Sievers Studio by Harold Sneckner, fans gathered outside of the Hunleth Music Company to listen to game 4 of the 1931 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Athletics. Look closely and you’ll see the radio perched on the fire escape. Something we take for granted now—listening to baseball games on the radio—was considered fairly cutting edge in the early 1930s. It was also somewhat controversial. Read more »

21, April 2017

Isaac Sievers: The Man Who'd Photograph Anything

Isaac Sievers—Sievers Studio founder and the man behind many of the photographs featured in our Picturing 1930s St. Louis project—was the son of a German immigrant and an Arkansas native. The 1910 census, which lists him working as a salesman in the “picture line” industry in his hometown of Greenville, Mississippi, reveals that he’d already been bitten by the photography bug at just 24 years old. Read more »