Picturing 1930s St. Louis: An Introduction

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St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri, United States. It sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers, on the western bank of the latter. It is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the seventh-largest in the Great Lakes Megalopolis, and the 22nd-largest in the United States.

A “Gamma”     global city, St. Louis has a diverse economy with strengths in the service, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and tourism industries. It is home to nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri.
Major research universities include Saint Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis. The Washington University Medical Center in the Central West End neighborhood hosts an agglomeration of medical and pharmaceutical institutions, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Among the city’s notable sights is the 630-foot (192 m) Gateway Arch in the downtown area. St. Louis is also home to the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri Botanical Garden, which has the second-largest herbarium in North America.
These amazing photos from Missouri Historical Society will give you a glimpse into St. Louis in 1931.
“Then and now” photo of two Oldsmobile cars. The vintage 1897 model Oldsmobile is parked next to a new 1931 Oldsmobile. Photo by Ed Meyer, June 1931

A speaker addresses the crowd at the dedication of the new Castle Point subdivision at the corner of Halls Ferry and Chambers roads in north St. Louis County. Photo by Isaac Sievers, June 1931

Banquet held at the Forest Park Hotel for the nurses of St. John’s Hospital. Photo by Isaac Sievers, May 1931

Boat-shaped car used by Anheuser-Busch to promote the brand. Photo by Sievers Studio, May 1931

Dodge half-ton truck decorated with signs complaining about its poor quality. Photo by Isaac Sievers, May 1931

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