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Albert Bond Lambert and Orvill Wright
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The St. Louis Gateway Arch is under construction on the Mississippi riverfront in this photo taken July 8, 1965. You can also see the partially constructed Busch Stadium and the Old Courthouse.
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Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins (in dark suits, front row) visit Jefferson City on July 20, 1970, one year after the historic moon landing.
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Ten men pose for a team picture on the field at Kansas City Municipal Farm, the city’s former prison workhouse, in an undated photo.
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A worker makes baseball bats in a West Plains factory in this undated photo.
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Beal's Grocery Store
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A young man and woman study each other on the Missouri Valley College campus in Marshall.
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A tourist stops for information at the Boonville Hostess Wagon in an undated photo.
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Players with the Shepherd of the Hills Theater take five between shows in this undated photo.
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This 1929 photograph shows extensive scaffolding of the main columns of the Capitol in Jefferson City.
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A crowd gathers in front of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City for it dedication, October 6, 1924.
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School children visit the Capitol in Jefferson City in 1954.
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We suspect this was supposed to be a portrait of the child in a chair in an unknown location in early 1900sMissouri, but Kitty refused to cooperate.
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President Harry S. Truman and Winston Churchill share a train ride to Fulton where Churchill would give his 1946 Sinews of Peace “Iron Curtain” speech.
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The zebras are part of a circus that was set up on a field between Howard and Beck Streets in Jefferson City in 1933.
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During the Cold War, this Ozark civil defense warehouse was stocked to the rafters in the event of a nuclear emergency.
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Workers prepare to pour concrete during construction of Bagnell Dam at Lake of the Ozarks in the summer of 1951.
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Here, a group of men pose on a walkway in front of Jacob Tanner Dry Goods & Groceries, while a woman and several children stand on a balcony above them.
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Women process eggs on a production line in this undated photo in an unknown location.
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Emmett Kelly attends the dedication of Emmett Kelly Park in Houston, Missouri, on August 9, 1956.
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Charles Lindbergh and Guy Murphy
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Fairport Comet Band 1897
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Fire in downtown Springfield 1913
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A man sprays the sidewalk in front of the Harrisonville Fire Department with a hose from fire truck number three in this undated photo.
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Roxie (Moore) Rowden and her friend, Mabel (Williams) Thompkins float in Pomme de Terre River at Lightfoot Ford on July 26, 1923.
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Several men, including one on horseback, survey the damage of floodwaters in Tuscumbia in 1926.
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Early aviator Tony Janus flies ver the Eads Bridge in St. Louis in an undated photo.
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The Freedom Train, a campaign to highlight America’s founding principles, rolls through Missouri in June 1948 on a nationwide tour.
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Harry Truman with a Missouri mule
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Horses and mules pull carts as a family crosses a field in an unknown location in 1920s Missouri.
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Young ladies learn home economics in a Lebanon High School class on December 6, 1956.
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The Johnson Family, date unknown
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Hanging the wash on the clothesline was a regular part of Missouri life in the days before electric dryers. The photo is undated and the location is unknown.
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Six-year-old Leonard James walks one mile to Cane Creek School in Bollinger County on his first day of school in August 1944.
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Linotype printing machines, 1960
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The locomotive of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad was the first to cross Missouri.
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A man catching fish in net while standing in a shallow river at Bennett Springs State Park in the early 1960s.
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Ozark fiddler, date unknown
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Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry was a Lake of the Ozarks landmark. In the 1950s, the group starred in a weekly thirty-minute program on KRCG-TV in Jefferson City. Here, a group of singers and musicians pose on stage, with Lee himself on his trademark bass fiddle at far right in the photo.
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Two boys perch on top of a wooden slide, while otherchildren await their turns in 1930s Kansas City.
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Workers perch on the Powersite Dam at Camp Ozark in Taney County on February 27, 1913.
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Price Hotel, Glasgow 1908
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Purveyors of fine fresh fruit, the good men of Lederer’s Fruit Store welcome customers in 1910 Springfield.
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A member of the Urban League Rhino Club performs a shortwave radio broadcast from 1930s Kansas City.
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The Eads Bridge looms above men working on the St. Louis riverfront in this 1941 view.
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Young boys are on different pages a Missouri Boys Town in St. James on January 27, 1956.
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A group of young women have ice cream and Cokes at the soda counter of a Rolla drugstore on October 23, 1945.
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People walk along the midway in front of a large triple Ferris wheel in an undated photo from the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.
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Visitors swim, play, and have fun at Public Beach #1 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park in an undated photo.
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A man collects sap from maple trees to be used in making maple syrup. Photo is undated and precise locations in Missouri are unknown.
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Streetcar tracks wind down Grand Avenue in St. Louis in this undated photo of the Gateway City’s “bright white way” theatrical district.
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A man chops tobacco leaves on a Platte County tobacco farm in an undated photo.
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The Albert Wingo family farm in Seymour is the scenefor son Tom’s twenty-first birthday bash in 1914.
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Turkeys surround a car in Eldon in an undated photo.
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Uncle Ike, postmaster at the forks
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Two women ride water bikes across the lake at Osage Beach in an undated photo.
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One wonders if this young girl—possibly in the Missouri Bootheel—intends to water the whole cotton field with single jug of water.
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A happy couple weds at the castle ruins at Ha Ha Tonka in January 1950.
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Two men and twelve women gather for a meeting of Kansas City’s West Side Homemakers Club #2 in an undated photo.
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The Hotel Governor in Jefferson City hosts the Business Women’s Week Banquet on October 7, 1947.
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A snowball fight breaks out between a group of students at Thorpe Gordon School in Jefferson City in this undated photo from the days before video games.
In a 1911 editorial in the Syracuse Post-Standard, Editor Tess Flanders is alleged to have written the now immortal phrase, “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” If she’s right, then these twenty pages are a novel.
The truth is, it would take a thousand photos to tell Missouri’s history and even that would not be enough. While combing through the Missouri State Archives, we were looking for photos that told the story of life in Missouri as much as historic moments. These photos represent a cross-section of some special moments in time and tell a story that words alone cannot tell. Some do not have precise dates or locations, but they are pure Missouri. They help us understand who we are, why we are.
Photos from the Missouri State Archive