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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

Let’s take a trip back in time to the streets of St. Louis in the 1940s. This decade was packed with excitement, from the swinging tunes of big bands to the city’s unwavering spirit during World War II. During World War II, St. Louis showed patriotism as factories switched gears to support the war effort. Places like the St. Louis Small Arms Plant and the Curtis-Wright Corporation became hubs of activity, with workers dedicating themselves to producing munitions and aircraft. The war significantly impacted the local economy, with many people finding employment in the city’s factories and military bases. However, the war also brought shortages of certain goods and increased prices, which affected the daily lives of many St. Louis residents.

St. Louis kept its arts and culture scene alive even with the war. The Muny, an outdoor Forest Park theatre, entertained audiences with Broadway shows under the stars. Meanwhile, the Saint Louis Art Museum continued to inspire with its vast collection of masterpieces. Sports were prominent in the ’40s, and the St. Louis Cardinals became a force to be reckoned with in baseball. Players like Stan “The Man” Musial, Enos Slaughter, and Marty Marion captured the city’s heart with their passion for the game. Fans huddled around radios or met in bars to cheer on the Cards. The city was also home to several essential sports teams, including the St. Louis Browns baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals football teams. These teams drew large crowds to their games and helped foster a sense of community and pride in the city.

Here are some fascinating historical photos that will take you back to the 1940s.

#1 The Century Theater building at Ninth and Olive, opened in 1896.

The Century Theater building at Ninth and Olive, opened in 1896.

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#2 Entrance to Forest Park at Lindell and Kingshighway, 1943.

Entrance to Forest Park at Lindell and Kingshighway, 1943.

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#3 Houses on Russell Blvd, near Virginia Avenue, 1940.

Houses on Russell Blvd, near Virginia Avenue, 1940.

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#4 Steel lithograph of Verandah Row on 4th street, 1949.

Steel lithograph of Verandah Row on 4th street, 1949.

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#5 Newly constructed dance floor at Jefferson Barracks, 1941.

Newly constructed dance floor at Jefferson Barracks, 1941.

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#6 The Julia Building, former site of William Barr Dry Goods Company, 1949.

The Julia Building, former site of William Barr Dry Goods Company, 1949.

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#7 The Ten Buildings on Fourth street, running from Locust to Vine, 1949.

The Ten Buildings on Fourth street, running from Locust to Vine, 1949.

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#8 The President Apartments on Lindell Blvd, 1945.

The President Apartments on Lindell Blvd, 1945.

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#9 Remodeled Jefferson Barracks as stop-over site, 1941.

Remodeled Jefferson Barracks as stop-over site, 1941.

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#10 The world’s first filling station, now used as a warehouse, 1943.

The world's first filling station, now used as a warehouse, 1943.

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#11 Meeting of the Waters fountain in Aloe Plaza near Union Station, 1940

Meeting of the Waters fountain in Aloe Plaza near Union Station, 1940

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#12 Officer dwellings under construction at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

Officer dwellings under construction at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

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#13 Airborne torpedo assembly line at American Can Company, 1943.

Airborne torpedo assembly line at American Can Company, 1943.

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#14 Workmen constructing tent frames at Jefferson Barracks, 1941.

Workmen constructing tent frames at Jefferson Barracks, 1941.

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#15 First passenger train crossing MacArthur Bridge, 1940.

First passenger train crossing MacArthur Bridge, 1940.

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#16 The old guard house at Jefferson Barracks, 1949.

The old guard house at Jefferson Barracks, 1949.

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#17 Aerial view of Jefferson Barracks, to be taken over by Air Corps, 1941.

Aerial view of Jefferson Barracks, to be taken over by Air Corps, 1941.

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#18 Ella Right and her 20 dogs’ residence at 1407 North Market Street.

Ella Right and her 20 dogs' residence at 1407 North Market Street.

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#19 Private Russell Morrison and young ladies at Jefferson Barracks’ open house, 1941.

Private Russell Morrison and young ladies at Jefferson Barracks' open house, 1941.

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#20 The Liederkranz, largest singing society in St. Louis, established in 1870.

The Liederkranz, largest singing society in St. Louis, established in 1870.

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#21 White Mill Drive-In, formerly a filling station, now an eating place, 1942.

White Mill Drive-In, formerly a filling station, now an eating place, 1942.

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#22 WPA workers building tent frames at Jefferson Barracks, 1941.

WPA workers building tent frames at Jefferson Barracks, 1941.

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#23 New recruits doing the left-right during an open house at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

New recruits doing the left-right during an open house at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

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#24 Memorial Day flags at Jefferson Barracks, 1943.

Memorial Day flags at Jefferson Barracks, 1943.

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#25 The Lincoln Trust Co. building at 712 Chestnut St., remodeled in 1949 to conform with the Title Guaranty Building.

The Lincoln Trust Co. building at 712 Chestnut St., remodeled in 1949 to conform with the Title Guaranty Building.

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#26 The Missouri Crematory Association building at Arsenal and Sublette, built in 1887.

The Missouri Crematory Association building at Arsenal and Sublette, built in 1887.

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#27 Regular army arrivals from Des Moines being checked in at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

Regular army arrivals from Des Moines being checked in at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

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#28 Baseball game at Jefferson Barracks on April 2nd, 1942.

Baseball game at Jefferson Barracks on April 2nd, 1942.

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#29 Soldiers being entertained at Jefferson Barracks on April 16th, 1942.

Soldiers being entertained at Jefferson Barracks on April 16th, 1942.

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#30 Army nurses reviewing a garrison parade at Jefferson Barracks, 1942.

Army nurses reviewing a garrison parade at Jefferson Barracks, 1942.

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#31 Miss Pickens singing to soldiers in front of the Station Hospital at Jefferson Barracks, date unknown.

Miss Pickens singing to soldiers in front of the Station Hospital at Jefferson Barracks, date unknown.

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#32 Jefferson Barracks Band, date unknown.

Jefferson Barracks Band, date unknown.

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#33 Fire destroying a 300-foot stretch of the Illinois Terminal Railroad trestle at the east approach to McKinley Bridge, 1949.

Fire destroying a 300-foot stretch of the Illinois Terminal Railroad trestle at the east approach to McKinley Bridge, 1949.

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#34 Citizens’ Military Training Camp participants turning in their uniforms at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

Citizens' Military Training Camp participants turning in their uniforms at Jefferson Barracks, 1940.

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#35 Businesses on the southeast corner of Seventh and Olive Streets in 1859, where the Famous-Barr store is now located.

Businesses on the southeast corner of Seventh and Olive Streets in 1859, where the Famous-Barr store is now located.

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#36 Teller at Mercantile Commerce Bank and Trust Company showing a new employee how to sort canceled checks, 1943.

Teller at Mercantile Commerce Bank and Trust Company showing a new employee how to sort canceled checks, 1943.

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#37 Men carrying white board into a house at Jefferson Barracks, date unknown.

Men carrying white board into a house at Jefferson Barracks, date unknown.

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#38 Jefferson Barracks hosting a tactical demonstration of modern warfare, 1944.

Jefferson Barracks hosting a tactical demonstration of modern warfare, 1944.

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#39 Marching band performing at Jefferson Barracks, April 1942.

Marching band performing at Jefferson Barracks, April 1942.

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#40 Veteran’s Hospital patients with earphones at their beds, 1949.

Veteran's Hospital patients with earphones at their beds, 1949.

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#41 St. Regis Apartments, 1943

St. Regis Apartments, 1943

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#42 Boatmen’s Bank – Third and Washington At Time of Spanish-American War, 1949

Boatmen's Bank - Third and Washington At Time of Spanish-American War, 1949

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#43 Control Tower, 1940

Control Tower, 1940

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#44 Soldier’s Memorial, 1940

Soldier's Memorial, 1940

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#45 St. Louis Zoo Monkey Show, 1944

St. Louis Zoo Monkey Show, 1944

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#46 Riviera Club St. Louis, 1947

Riviera Club St. Louis, 1947

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#47 St. Louis Riverfront From the Deck of the Golden Eagle, 1946

St. Louis Riverfront From the Deck of the Golden Eagle, 1946

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#48 Admiral under construction just north of Eads Bridge in St. Louis.

Admiral under construction just north of Eads Bridge in St. Louis.

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#49 Globe-Democrat Table Tennis Tournament,

Globe-Democrat Table Tennis Tournament,

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#50 Golden Eagle, 1947

Golden Eagle, 1947

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#51 Soldiers gather at Union Station before the booth maintained by the Military Reservation Bureau to handle ticket matters for all servicemen on official business, 1944

Soldiers gather at Union Station before the booth maintained by the Military Reservation Bureau to handle ticket matters for all servicemen on official business, 1944

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#52 Families and residents of St. Louis gather on the levee to send off soldiers departing for World War II around 1942.

Families and residents of St. Louis gather on the levee to send off soldiers departing for World War II around 1942.

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#53 Passengers overlook the Mississippi River as they visit the top deck of the President steamboat.

Passengers overlook the Mississippi River as they visit the top deck of the President steamboat.

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#54 The Zorensky Brothers Store on Easton Avenue, 1940

The Zorensky Brothers Store on Easton Avenue, 1940

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#55 The Casoloma Ballroom, located at 3453 Iowa Street, covered in ice in January 1940 after a fire.

The Casoloma Ballroom, located at 3453 Iowa Street, covered in ice in January 1940 after a fire.

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#56 Light Battery A’s camp ground with its banner hanging from a tree in Camp Stephens.

Light Battery A's camp ground with its banner hanging from a tree in Camp Stephens.

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#57 The First Groups Of Enlisted Air Force Reservists, 1940

The First Groups Of Enlisted Air Force Reservists, 1940

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#58 Jefferson Barracks housing next to the tower.

Jefferson Barracks housing next to the tower.

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#59 Members of the first full unit to return from Europe, arrived last night at Jefferson Barracks, 1940

Members of the first full unit to return from Europe, arrived last night at Jefferson Barracks, 1940

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#60 Beer gardens got their real start when the great German immigration begain to flow into St.Louis in 1848. In a matter of a few short years, beer gardens were as much a part of St. Louis as the Mississippi.

Beer gardens got their real start when the great German immigration begain to flow into St.Louis in 1848. In a matter of a few short years, beer gardens were as much a part of St. Louis as the Mississippi.

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#61 A Demonstration At Jefferson Barracks, 1940

A Demonstration At Jefferson Barracks, 1940

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#62 Jefferson Barracks – 1944 Memorial Service, 1940

Jefferson Barracks - 1944 Memorial Service, 1940

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#63 This building, originally erected as a barracks 162 years ago today, has been used for various purposes, including warehouse for muskets, cannon and medical supplies.

This building, originally erected as a barracks 162 years ago today, has been used for various purposes, including warehouse for muskets, cannon and medical supplies.

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#64 Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 1940

Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 1940

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#65 The guard house, built in 1830, is still in use today. Soldiers at door are part of a training detachtment stationed at post.

The guard house, built in 1830, is still in use today. Soldiers at door are part of a training detachtment stationed at post.

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#66 At the Civil War there was a great need of mounted troops for service agianst the Indians, particularly around 1876 at the time of the Custer massacre, and the Arsenal became a cavalry recruit depot.

At the Civil War there was a great need of mounted troops for service agianst the Indians, particularly around 1876 at the time of the Custer massacre, and the Arsenal became a cavalry recruit depot.

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#67 Anheuser-Busch Brewery – Scene for Documentary Film,

Anheuser-Busch Brewery - Scene for Documentary Film,

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#68 Steamer Missouri, Port of St. Louis boat, 1940

Steamer Missouri, Port of St. Louis boat, 1940

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#69 Old Boatmen’s Bank Building – Fire and Collapse, 1949

Old Boatmen's Bank Building - Fire and Collapse, 1949

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#70 From Behind A Barricade And In The Shadow Of A Guard Tower March Soldiers Who Are Confined, 1944

From Behind A Barricade And In The Shadow Of A Guard Tower March Soldiers Who Are Confined, 1944

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#71 Rehab Center Employees, 1944

Rehab Center Employees, 1944

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#72 Blackhawks veterans sit on the grass as they wait for physical examinations as preliminaries to furloughs, 1945

Blackhawks veterans sit on the grass as they wait for physical examinations as preliminaries to furloughs, 1945

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#73 Members of the 365th Technical School Squadron And The Women’s Chamber Of Commerce Of St. Louis, 1940

Members of the 365th Technical School Squadron And The Women's Chamber Of Commerce Of St. Louis, 1940

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#74 Lansdowne Bridge, 1948

Lansdowne Bridge, 1948

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#75 Wainwright Brewery Razing, 1945. Demolition of the Wainwright Brewery building on 10th and Gratiot street. The amount of smoke increases as the majority of the side building and the pillar collapse.

Wainwright Brewery Razing, 1945. Demolition of the Wainwright Brewery building on 10th and Gratiot street. The amount of smoke increases as the majority of the side building and the pillar collapse.

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#76 Demolition of the Wainwright Brewery building on 10th and Gratiot street, 1940

Demolition of the Wainwright Brewery building on 10th and Gratiot street, 1940

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#77 Jefferson Barracks – No Sightseers Beyond This Point, 1940

Jefferson Barracks - No Sightseers Beyond This Point, 1940

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#78 Pulling up to the bank kiosk, located on the curb in front of the St. Louis Mercantile-Commerce Bank and Trust Co.,1948

Pulling up to the bank kiosk, located on the curb in front of the St. Louis Mercantile-Commerce Bank and Trust Co.,1948

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#79 The Milles Fountain with statuary seen in the Plaza area in 1940.

The Milles Fountain with statuary seen in the Plaza area in 1940.

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#80 Christian Staehlin Phoenix Brewery, 1940. One of the largest of St. Louis’ 40 breweries, the Christian Staehlin Phoenix Brewery was located on Lafayette and Eighteenth (then second Carondelet avenue).

Christian Staehlin Phoenix Brewery, 1940. One of the largest of St. Louis' 40 breweries, the Christian Staehlin Phoenix Brewery was located on Lafayette and Eighteenth (then second Carondelet avenue).

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#81 The Klausmann Brewery,1940

The Klausmann Brewery,1940

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#82 Clark’s Natatorium- Bathing Pool, 1949

Clark's Natatorium- Bathing Pool, 1949

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#83 Riverfront Old Pix View of Overfront, 1940

Riverfront Old Pix View of Overfront, 1940

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#84 Susie Hazard, Capitol and Saint Paul, 1940

Susie Hazard, Capitol and Saint Paul, 1940

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#85 Cafferata Café, 1940

Cafferata Café, 1940

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#86 Dorris Motor Car Co.

Dorris Motor Car Co.

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#87 Delmar Station, 1941

Delmar Station, 1941

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#88 Downtown Remodeling Project, 1940

Downtown Remodeling Project, 1940

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#89 A $750,000 Project,1940. At the left is a photograph of the building as it appears today, and at right is a sketch showing how it will appear after the work will appear after the work is completed.

A $750,000 Project,1940. At the left is a photograph of the building as it appears today, and at right is a sketch showing how it will appear after the work will appear after the work is completed.

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#90 Globe-Democrat Business Offices, 1940

Globe-Democrat Business Offices, 1940

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#91 The City Hall,1949 during construction which was completed in 1895, was erected on a six-acre plot of ground the city had owned since 1840.

The City Hall,1949 during construction which was completed in 1895, was erected on a six-acre plot of ground the city had owned since 1840.

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#92 The Downs Amusement Park Swimming Pool, 1940

The Downs Amusement Park Swimming Pool, 1940

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#93 Cleaning the Streets, 1940

Cleaning the Streets, 1940

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#94 Washington Street Looking West, 1949

Washington Street Looking West, 1949

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#95 Wading Pool at 7th and Soulard, 1940

Wading Pool at 7th and Soulard, 1940

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#96 St. Louis Cardinals Baseball 1942

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball 1942

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#97 Fairgrounds Swimming Pool, 1940

Fairgrounds Swimming Pool, 1940

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#98 Flooding on Olive Street, 1940

Flooding on Olive Street, 1940

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#99 Carter Carburetor Plant at Night, 1940

Carter Carburetor Plant at Night, 1940

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#100 Alex Ayton, St. Louis Country Club professional, instructs a class of boy beginners in the fundamentals of the swing, 1940

Alex Ayton, St. Louis Country Club professional, instructs a class of boy beginners in the fundamentals of the swing, 1940

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#101 Riverfront Old Pix Merchant’s Exchange Building, 1940

Riverfront Old Pix Merchant's Exchange Building, 1940

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#102 An overflow crowd of 34,009 persons saw the American League All-Star game at Sportsmans Park, 1940

An overflow crowd of 34,009 persons saw the American League All-Star game at Sportsmans Park, 1940

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#103 Globe-Democrat Rolls on Wood Tires, 1940

Globe-Democrat Rolls on Wood Tires, 1940

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#104 Greatest Newspaper West of the Alleghenies,1940

Greatest Newspaper West of the Alleghenies,1940

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#105 St. Louis River Front, 1940

St. Louis River Front, 1940

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#106 The terminal levee tracks along the riverfront of St. Louis were under several feet yesterday, and the trains were being rerouted over the elevated tracks, 1940

The terminal levee tracks along the riverfront of St. Louis were under several feet yesterday, and the trains were being rerouted over the elevated tracks, 1940

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#107 The Mississippi, at St. Louis, 1940

The Mississippi, at St. Louis, 1940

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#108 Fullerton Building, 1940

Fullerton Building, 1940

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#109 Fulton Iron Works Company, 1259 Delaware avenue, one of the largest heavy machine tool plants in this area, 1940

Fulton Iron Works Company, 1259 Delaware avenue, one of the largest heavy machine tool plants in this area, 1940

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#110 The sale for 1,150,000 of the seven-story Franklin-American Trust Building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Locust streets, 1940

The sale for 1,150,000 of the seven-story Franklin-American Trust Building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Locust streets, 1940

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#111 German-American Bloc organization changed the building name to the St. Louis House, 1940

German-American Bloc organization changed the building name to the St. Louis House, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#112 Gamble Community Center Building, 1949

Gamble Community Center Building, 1949

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#113 Cooking School, 1941

Cooking School, 1941

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#114 Fourth-Place Award Goes to St. Louisan, 1948

Fourth-Place Award Goes to St. Louisan, 1948

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#115 French fur-traders of the eighteenth century built houses similar to this along the river front, 1940

French fur-traders of the eighteenth century built houses similar to this along the river front, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#116 Horse and Wagon Delivery Service, 1942

Horse and Wagon Delivery Service, 1942

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#117 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony At The MacArthur Bridge, 1940

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony At The MacArthur Bridge, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#118 Parade Down Ninth Street, 1940

Parade Down Ninth Street, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#119 Eads Bridge Rails Restoration Sought, 1940

Eads Bridge Rails Restoration Sought, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#120 West Approach of Eads Bridge, 1949

West Approach of Eads Bridge, 1949

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#121 Eastern Approach of Eads Bridge, 1946

Eastern Approach of Eads Bridge, 1946

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#122 Eads Bridge-The Mississippi River, 1942

Eads Bridge-The Mississippi River, 1942

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#123 The Completed Eads Bridge, 1949

The Completed Eads Bridge, 1949

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#124 The Rock-Hewn Winery of the American Wine Company, 3015 Cass avenue, a firm in which the controlling interest, 1944

The Rock-Hewn Winery of the American Wine Company, 3015 Cass avenue, a firm in which the controlling interest, 1944

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#125 The Progress of Eads Bridge, 1949

The Progress of Eads Bridge, 1949

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#126 President Lido Deck, 1947

President Lido Deck, 1947

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#127 Boating in Forest Park, 1949

Boating in Forest Park, 1949

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#128 The Zorensky Brothers Store on Franklin Avenue, 1940

The Zorensky Brothers Store on Franklin Avenue, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#129 Capitol being dismantled at Saint Louis, Missouri, 1940

Capitol being dismantled at Saint Louis, Missouri, 1940

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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#130 Crowd Attends Board of Education Meeting, 1942

Crowd Attends Board of Education Meeting, 1942

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What St. Louis looked like in the 1940s

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