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12, April 2013

The Sisters Who Captured the World's Fair on Film

During the 1904 World’s Fair, two sisters—Emme and Mayme Gerhard—cemented their place in photographic history. St. Louis natives, the Gerhard sisters learned their craft as young women, apprenticing with Fitz Guerin, a popular local photographer. When Guerin retired in 1903, the sisters took over his studio, just in time for the World’s Fair. However, both Emme and Mayme were already quite well known and respected for their work in the St. Read more »

10, April 2013

Civil War Love Letters: April 10–12, 1863

While James remained at Nashville, wondering if his secret engagement to Molly would cause awkwardness if he was able to visit St. Louis, he heard news of guerrilla raids and skirmishes in the area. From April 7–11, Confederate major general Joseph Wheeler raided Union trains on several railroads in the region between Nashville, Chattanooga, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky. In one attack, the Confederates hit 18 railroad cars loaded with horses and other stock. Read more »

8, April 2013

Art in the Archives: Exhibit Opens at the Museum's Library and Research Facility

When artist and art therapist Gussie Klorer bought a neighborhood guardhouse in Clayton, she found more than a place for a studio, she found fascinating and troubling stories about her community’s past. She also found inspiration for her latest art project, which will be featured in the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center beginning today, April 5. Read more »

4, April 2013

An Exhibit Takes Shape: Final Decisions for 250 in 250

We are nearing the point where we need to have all of our selections for each of the 250 in 250 exhibit sections finalized. That means agreeing on the 50 people, 50 places, 50 moments, 50 images, and 50 objects that will be featured in the exhibit. Read more »

31, March 2013

Civil War Love Letters: March 31–April 1, 1863

James remained in camp at Nashville, where he worked up to 12 hours a day in various record-keeping tasks as adjutant. His work was increased by the arrival of the final company of his regiment, Company G, and the paymaster. At the same time, the Union officials in Nashville were working to drive all “secesh” from Nashville. Residents of the city who were over the age of 18 had to take an oath of allegiance and pay a bond to insure the oath. Any citizen who refused to take the oath had to leave the city. Read more »

26, March 2013

Conserving History in Preparation for Tomorrow

We have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks debating who and what should be featured in the 250 in 250 exhibit. When it comes to which artifacts we will feature, however, there’s a lot more to the process than just choosing what we would like to show.

Our conservation department must make sure that our artifacts are ready for display and that they can be shown in such a way that won’t cause any damage to them. Read more »

22, March 2013

Civil War Love Letters: March 22, 1863

In this letter, James writes of issues both military and personal. He mentions that there are still plenty of young men in St. Louis, but fewer young men in the South, which leads to a discussion of deserters and conscription. By early 1863, the United States government realized that, after almost two years of war, they needed more troops, and fewer men were volunteering for duty. To solve this problem, Congress passed the Enrollment Act, also known as the Conscription Act, on March 3, 1863. Read more »

7, March 2013

Civil War Love Letters: March 7, 1863

At the end of February, James celebrated President George Washington’s Birthday and the arrival of four companies of his regiment, the 8th Kansas Infantry. In May 1862, five companies of the regiment, including James’s Company K, left Kansas and marched to Tennessee to join the fight, leaving five other companies from the regiment in Kansas. In February 1863, four of these companies were ordered to leave Kansas and join the rest of the regiment in Nashville. This order angered many of the men because they had enlisted as Home Guard for the state of Kansas. Read more »

4, March 2013

Do They Look Like Frolickers?

This season of Downton Abbey brought us one of my favorite lines ever, spoken by the offended Mrs. Patmore when accused of “frolicking” with a known prostitute: “Do I look like a frolicker?”

Now, “frolicker” is not a word one normally hears very often. I, however, have had the pleasure of reading it numerous times in the book I’m editing right now, Up North...

Left: Bathing poseurs, Gratiot Beach, 1908. Courtesy of Douglas Scott Brookes.
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1, March 2013

Making the Cut: How to Choose Who Stays in the Exhibit

St. Louis turns 250 years old in 2014, and the Missouri History Museum will commemorate the anniversary with an exhibit that tells the history of the city through 50 people, 50 places, 50 moments, 50 images, and 50 objects. History Happens Here is taking its readers behind the scenes of the making of the 250 in 250 exhibit, which will open in February 2014

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