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31, January 2017

Origin Story: The Fabulous Fox

Although his name isn’t on the marquee, St. Louisans largely have Charles Howard Crane to thank for the Fox Theatre’s breathtaking architecture. Crane, a Connecticut native, certainly had a niche: He designed more than 250 movie theaters over the course of his career, including several so-called movie palaces. Read more »

26, January 2017

It's Neon Time!

Neon expert David Hutson has restored multiple signs along Route 66 in Missouri, including the Donut Drive-In and Sunset Motel signs. While making the feature-length documentary Show Me 66: Main Street Through Missouri, we spent some time with Hutson at Neon Time, his shop in St. Charles. There we discussed the role neon played on Route 66 and why neon has become such a big part of the road's cultural legacy. Read more »

23, January 2017

6 Writing Wonders—Or Not

In today's texting-obsessed world, some would argue that our collective handwriting skills are tanking and that penmanship is destined to become a lost art. Au contraire! Although past St. Louisans would surely be baffled by a QWERTY keyboard, we're betting they'd praise the efforts of educators learning how to teach children cursive in response to updated Missouri learning standards. Read more »

20, January 2017

66 Through St. Louis: Maplewood Business District

For anyone trying to drive Route 66 through St. Louis, the path of the world’s most famous highway isn’t so clear. You could take Watson Road, known as Historic 66, but not the road’s original path. You could get on Lindbergh Boulevard, which was sometimes the main Route 66, sometimes 66 Bypass, and sometimes not a part of Route 66 at all. You could cross five Mississippi River bridges, drive on nearly a dozen major St. Louis streets, and chase various alignments—all without ever leaving the Mother Road. How can this be? In contrast to small towns where Route 66 was often the one and only “main street,” Route 66 shifted, twisted, and turned through big cities such as St. Louis. Read more »

17, January 2017

A 10-Year-Old's Take

Recently my 5th-grade class took a field trip to the Missouri History Museum. We visited the exhibits TOYS of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis. Read more »

12, January 2017

8 Male Hipsters of Missouri History

When one thinks of hipster guys, ironic facial hair and glasses spring to mind. But these eight images prove that people have been thumbing their noses at convention since “diesel” meant only one thing—and it's not a trucker hat. By all means, mimic the boy showing off his talented stilt-walking skills, or dress like the man roller-skating down the street.

1. Beer Me

This is one classy happy hour—now pick those bottles up off the floor, already! Read more »

11, January 2017

8 Female Hipsters of Missouri History

Though hipster is a modern term, independent, out-of-the-box thinkers have been defying norms for ages, and that’s especially true of women. Might they be the original hipsters? These ladies—dressing how they want, working where they want—make a pretty solid argument for yes.

1. Ladies Who Work

Break time or quittin' time for these ladies? Many women felt liberated and empowered by working in factories to help the war effort and provide for their children. Read more »

3, January 2017

We Made History in 2016

There are record-breaking years, and then there are years like 2016 at the Missouri History Museum. We're still crunching the numbers on what will go down as one of the most successful years in our 150-year history, but here's what we can say for sure: Read more »

30, December 2016

66 Through St. Louis: Chase Park Plaza

When looking at a map of Route 66 through St. Louis, it seems like half the city’s major streets carried an alignment of Route 66 at one time or another. Travelers leaving downtown St. Louis via the road's first alignment along Lindell Boulevard drove past the crowning jewels of the Central West End: the enormous Chase and Park Plaza hotels. Read more »

27, December 2016

A Kitchen Set Surprise

In 2009, Shelley Lebbing contacted me to see whether we would be interested in some items for donation. Included in her gift were four pieces of a toddler-sized pink kitchen, complete with a few cooking utensils and numerous grocery pieces. Here’s Shelley's account of receiving her Rite-Hite kitchen in the 1960s: Read more »