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    Jefferson

    National Expansion Memorial Missouri

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    MoDot crews will close 1-44 starting in the evening at 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 11 to begin the process of placing 40 girders across the highway. Each girder weighs 14 tons and is 100 feet long.The highway will reopen by 5:00 a.m. on Monday July 14.

Artifact of the Month

About This Blog

The Artifact of the Month column will feature artifacts from the park's collection, some on display, some that are in storage. Artifact of the Month is intended to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes into the history of these fascinating items.

Player Piano

May 08, 2014 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of mass-produced pianos for the home in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A beautiful piece from the JNEM collections is JEFF 8211, a mahogany player piano, c 1903/1905 (with roller) made by the Palmer Piano Company.

 

1870s Sewing Machine

May 08, 2014 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Through most of human history, women spent thousands of hours not only making clothing for their families, but repairing clothing. Because of the time involved in producing clothing many people dreamed of inventing a machine to do the work sewing pieces of cloth together. During the early 1800’s, many sewing devices were invented with moderate to poor success. By the mid to late 1800’s, sewing devices were vastly improved and what we now know as the sewing machine came into existence. Our exhibits in the Old Courthouse include an early model of one of these machines, Our sewing machine (JEFF 6089) was manufactured in the by the Wilcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine Company

 

Pearl-Cast Iron Parlor Stove

December 03, 2013 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Among the early industries in St. Louis, the manufacture of stoves emerged as one of the largest and most successful. The ever growing market for stoves in the West coupled with the abundance of iron from the area, made stove manufacturers quite wealthy. In the slightly more than 100 years that it existed, St. Louis led much of the country in stove manufacturing. A fine example of a cast iron stove in our collection is JEFF 4750-an 1869 cast iron parlor stove, Bridge, each and Company, Model #7-The Pearl.

 

Late 19th Century "Log Cabin" Style Quilt

October 29, 2013 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Quilts have been a part of history as long as have beds themselves. In Europe, they comforted kings and queens. In America, however, quilts came to be used in vastly different circumstances. Here, pioneers in need of warm bed covers and with little cloth to spare, out of necessity, sewed together scrap after scrap of material to achieve bed-size patchwork panels. One of the many sources of inspiration for quilt patterns was pioneer living itself which contributed to the development of the “Log Cabin” pattern. The Artifact of the Month is an example of a 19th century “Log Cabin” style quilt from the collections. In making these quilted bed covers, women also achieved a level of beauty and creative expression not otherwise found in many frontier homes.

 

Copper Leaves from the Dome

September 17, 2013 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

Copper Leaves (shingles) from the Dome

 

The Settlement of Saint Louis or The Founding of Saint Louis by Fernand LeQuesne

September 09, 2013 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

This large scale painting known as both “The Settlement of Saint Louis” and “The Founding of Saint Louis” depicts the founding of the city of St. Louis by Pierre Laclede in 1764.

 

An Official Daily Program from the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition for Saturday, October 8th

July 19, 2013 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

The 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition was a showcase of man’s progress. It was intended to commemorate a proud past but also point the way to a bright future. In order to assist the many visitors that attended the Fair, daily programs were issued serving as guide books that described the day’s events and provided a map of the Fair. JEFF 2333 is one of those colorful programs from October 8th, 1904.

 

Jukebox

April 30, 2013 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

The impact of the jukebox on American culture was profound. People now had the freedom to listen to what they wanted to, almost anywhere they wanted. On exhibit in the St. Louis gallery of the Old Courthouse is JEFF 8277, a Seeburg Rex 1937 model art deco style jukebox that holds 20 records. The development of the jukebox is an interesting story.

 

Pen and Ink Drawing of a Keelboat

February 28, 2013 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Paul Rockwood was an American graphic artist, printmaker and lithographer who made many drawings of keelboats, flatboats and other views of early transportation on the western rivers. Keelboats were common rivercraft at the beginning of the 19th century. The history of early transportation on the Mississippi River would be incomplete without a discussion of the important role of the keelboat. Artifact JEFF 1407 is a well-executed pen and ink drawing by Paul Rockwood which depicts the arduous t

 

Who Am I? Children's Book by Lily Swann Saarinen. Artifact of the Month for January 2013

January 01, 2013 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

A charming children's book by Lily Swann Saarinen, wife of Eero Saarinen and member of the team that won the architectural competition in 1948.

 

Karl Bodmer Aquatint “The Steamer Yellowstone/On The/ 9th April 1833” Artifact of the Month for December 2012

December 06, 2012 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Swiss artist Karl Bodmer was one of the greatest painters of the American West. His aquatint engraving "Steamer Yellow-Stone/On The/19th April 1833" is the artifact of the month. His works are remarkable for their careful detail and sensitivity and are recognized as some of the most perceptive and visually compelling visions of America and its peoples.

 

The Gateway Arch Ephemera Collection, Artifact of the Month for November 2012

November 20, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

The Gateway Arch Ephemera Collection is meant to document the development of the image of the Arch to become the primary icon of St. Louis. Since 1948, the image of the Gateway Arch has been used in a wide variety of ways and represented on all types of materials. The collection comprises items on which the Gateway Arch design has been used artistically and commercially to promote ideas, products and events associated with St. Louis.

 

"St. Louis" Model Automobile made by George Dorris, Sr. Artifact of the Month for October 2012

October 05, 2012 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

One of the most popular artifacts on exhibit at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is the 1904 “St. Louis” model of the Dorris automobile manufactured by the Saint Louis Motor Carriage Company.

 

Old Courthouse Square Survey, Artifact of the Month for September 2012

October 05, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

This month’s artifact of the month is a survey of the land for the Old Courthouse dated 1826.

 

Campaign Buttons, Artifact of the Month for August 2012

September 19, 2012 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Since America is now in the throes of the 2012 Presidential campaign and election, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss examples of campaign buttons from the Jefferson National Expansion collection.

 

Fur Trade Illustration Project Papers, Artifact of the Month for July 2012

September 18, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

This month’s artifact of the month is one of the park’s wonderful archival collections - The Fur Trade Illustration Project. This fascinating collection consists of two hundred and fifty pen and ink drawings by National Park Service artists William Macy and James Mulcahy.

 

Jefferson Peace Medal, Artifact of the Month for June 2012

September 17, 2012 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

This large, silver Thomas Jefferson peace medal was donated to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in 1964. It is a fascinating piece of the past. These precious medals were given as tokens by explorers to important leaders and chiefs of Native American tribes as a symbol of peace and friendship between the two groups. Read about its interesting history.

 

Terra Cotta Owl Architectural Ornaments, Artifact of the Month for May 2012

August 28, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

A pair of 128 lb terra cotta owl ornaments recovered from 121 South Second Street on the Arch grounds by park employee, John Bryan and saved for their architectural interest.

 

Thomas Moran Watercolor, Artifact of the Month for April 2012

April 01, 2012 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Thomas Moran Watercolor

 

Indian Wars Widows Project Records, Artifact of the Month for March 2012

March 01, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

The collection comprises the records of park historian Don Rickey. In the 1960s, Rickey was planning exhibits for the Museum of Westward Expansion and was searching for information, letters, photos and artifacts from men who were soldiers in the United States Army in the West. Rickey undertook a project in 1962 to contact all the surviving un-remarried widows of Indian Wars Veterans who were still receiving pensions from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

Meyer Brothers Drug Company Artifacts, Artifact of the Month for February 2012

February 01, 2012 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Meyer Brothers Drug Company Artifacts

 

Titian Ramsay Peale's Insect Specimen Collection Kit, Artifact of the Month for January 2012

January 01, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

January's artifact of the month is Titian Ramsay Peale's insect specimen collection kit. This kit was a vital tool of one of America's early naturalist explorers used in his efforts to document the native species of the American continent.

 

The Emigrant's Guide, Artifact of the Month for December 2011

December 01, 2011 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Emigrant's Guide to the West guidebook

 

Prussian Vases, around 1860, Artifact of the Month for November 2011

November 01, 2011 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

The artifact of the month for November is a pair of extremely large and elaborate vases that were presented to St. Louis lawyer Charles Gibson as a gift from the Prince Regent of Prussia Wilhelm I (later to be King of Prussia and the first Emperor of Germany). The gift was in recognition of Gibson's work representing the previous King of Prussia, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, in a legal case that took place in St. Louis' Old Courthouse.

 

Old Courthouse Deed, Artifact of the Month for October 2011

September 30, 2011 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

The deed to the land the Old Courthouse stands on.

 

Oath of Loyalty Book, 1868-1871, Artifact of the Month for September 2011

September 01, 2011 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

The artifact of the month for September is a fascinating reminder of the hostility and resentment that remained in the state after the end of the Civil War. This Oath of Loyalty book consists of pages containing the text of the "test oath" and the signatures of men holding (or seeking) public office in the city.

 

Nineteenth Century Cameras, Artifact of the Month for August 2011

August 01, 2011 Posted by: Kathleen Moenster, Assistant Curator

Nineteeth Century Cameras

 

Introduction

July 30, 2011 Posted by: Jennifer Clark, Archivist

Introduction to this blog

 

Did You Know?

Dinosaur cartoon

On September 10, 1804 on Cedar Island, in South Dakota, William Clark discovered the fossilized remains of the ribs, backbone and teeth of a plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs were animals who lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, but swam rather than walking on land. Clark thought it was a giant fish bone! More...