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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


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 »

23, March 2010


Canstruction: The "During" Photos

Canstruction is underway! Building started at 7am, March 23, and by noon structures were beginning to take shape. (Well, some more than others!) I could definitely see a train and a riverboat coming together. I have no idea how anyone will be able to re-create the Spirit of St. Louis with cans, though! Read more »

22, March 2010


Canstruction: The "Before" Photos

Canstruction begins tomorrow! Sure, they don't look like much now, but on March 23, 2010, these cans will be transformed into works of art. Read more »

22, March 2010

Chinatown in St. Louis?

The Library and Research Center’s Margaret Blanke Grigg Reading Room displays material from our collections. Our first topic for the year was race and ethnicity in St. Louis. Once we decided on this topic my first thought went to a researcher who years ago used to use our library quite frequently. She was researching the Chinese in St. Louis. A few years later, two books have been added to our collections from that researcher.

What I found most interesting and something of a surprise was the early immigration of the Chinese to St. Read more »

19, March 2010

Dred and Harriet Scott: Their Family Story

Just in time for the anniversary month of the historic Dred Scott decision at the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, the St. Louis County Library has published Dred & Harriet Scott: Their Family Story, by Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager.

Dred and Harriet Scott explores how the 11-year legal battle to gain their freedom from enslavement affected the lives of Dred, his wife, Harriet, and their daughters, Eliza and Lizzie. Read more »