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14, April 2010

A Brief History of...Bagnell Dam

Most St. Louisans probably don’t know that Lake of the Ozarks, where they head for summertime fun, is the source of their electricity. Bagnell Dam was constructed to impound water from the Osage River to produce electric power for St. Louis and other parts of Missouri. The resulting lake is now a major tourist attraction in the middle of the state. Its shoreline is even longer than the Pacific coastline of California, measuring 1,100 miles. In the article “Seeing the Lake from End to End” in the November 1932 issue of Union Electric Magazine , G. V. Read more »

14, April 2010

A Village Called Versailles

As part of its Community Cinema series, the Missouri History Museum is pleased to announce the upcoming screening of A Village Called Versailles at 7 p.m. on April 19, 2010, in the Lee Auditorium. Click here for more details. "Versailles" refers to Versailles Arms Apartment, a New Orleans East housing project that is home to the most ethnically dense Vietnamese population outside Vietnam. Read more »

9, April 2010

Feel Inspired?

As an intern in the Exhibitions and Research department, one of the many tasks I enjoy is collecting, reading, and cataloging visitors' comments within the exhibits. The Katherine Dunham: Beyond the Dance exhibit opened on November 2, 2008, and throughout its run at the Missouri History Museum I read the responses found in the Living Memory section of the exhibit. I was surprised at the variety of ways visitors found to express themselves in response to the prompt: "Feel inspired? Read more »

7, April 2010

Canstruction Awards Announced!

During the second half of March, the wild and wacky St. Louis Canstruction project was on display at the History Museum. Although we’re sad to see the exhibit come down, the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry and the St. Read more »

6, April 2010

The Battle of Shiloh: “Language Is Inadequate”

One of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles took place 148 years ago on April 6 and 7, 1862. Major General U. S. Grant’s forces had gathered at Pittsburgh Landing, aka Shiloh, Tennessee, and were surprised by General A. S. Johnston’s Confederate attack on April 6. Read more »

2, April 2010

Play Ball!

In 1911, most well-to-do ladies did not follow sports teams or run businesses, but Helene Britton did both. That year, when she inherited ownership of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team from her uncle, Stanley Robison, many assumed the 32-year-old mother of two would sell the team or transfer ownership to her husband. Instead, she moved her family to St. Louis from their home in Cleveland to embrace her role as the first woman to own a major league baseball team.

Britton grew up in Ohio in a baseball family. Read more »

31, March 2010

Missal Bifolium, ca. 1450–1470

This artifact is an amazing, unique piece of the Missouri History Museum's collections—a 15th-century Italian illuminated manuscript. How did it come to be in St. Louis in the 21st century? It was collected by philanthropist and Missouri History Museum president (1907–1913, 1925–1930) William K. Read more »

30, March 2010

A Brief History of...the Pony Express

150 years ago this weekend, the first Pony Express rider took off from St. Joseph, Missouri, with his bags of mail. On April 3, 1860, freight company magnates William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors founded the mail system to satisfy the need for faster communication with the West, especially with the Civil War looming. Riders braved dangerous terrain to deliver letters that were written on tissue paper wrapped in oil paper. At first, people paid a whopping $5 to mail a letter weighing half an ounce or less; that was later reduced to $2.50. Read more »

24, March 2010

Poosh-M-Up Jr. 4-in-1 pinball game, ca. 1960

Pinball games or bagatelles date from the 1700s and have their origins with billiards. In the 20th century, many toy companies manufactured pinball games. Northwestern Products Company developed the Poosh-M-Up series of games in the 1920s, when the St. Read more »

24, March 2010

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Canstruction: The "After" Photos

Today, March 24, Canstruction opened to the public. One or two teams were at the History Museum until 2am finishing their creations. Until April 5, you can see these ten works of art, created mostly by canned goods. Read more »