The Missouri History Museum has created a free iPhone app called "Historic St. Louis." Containing almost 300 historic photographs of street scenes and buildings in St. Louis, the app pairs a GPS map with the photographs' locations.
When the user looks through a phone's camera lens while at the location, the historic picture comes into view on the phone's screen. In essence, the app creates "then and now" photographs that may be viewed while walking through the city. While looking at the historic photograph, a user can move a finger across the slider and watch the "then" photo slowly dissolve as the "now" appears.
The museum has thousands of photos in its collections that feature street scenes, and this app offers an interesting way for people to engage with the historic photos. St. Louis residents and visitors alike are often fascinated by the images of the city's past, and how much things have changed — or not. Photos and locations featured include downtown extending through the Central West End and over to Delmar.
This app is a wonderful tool that can be used to teach children about the history of St. Louis. Kids will enjoy picking out the differences between the two photos, identifying the different types of merchants and their wares, looking at how clothing styles have changed, and noticing the differences in the cars — or that people traveled using horses and wagons! The historic photographs may be viewed in the app at any time, regardless of the user's location.
Families can continue learning at the "Streets of St. Louis" exhibit, which opens Feb. 14, 2014, and continues through July 13. Visitors will be able to view magnified sections of photographs to see intricate details that give insight into the daily life of the citizens of St. Louis's past.
"Historic St. Louis" is free and available on iTunes. Admission to the "Streets of St. Louis" exhibit is free.
Visit the Missouri History Museum at Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Mo., 63112. Call 314-746-4599.
To people of all ages and backgrounds, the Missouri History Museum is a leading cultural institution and community resource that offers exhibitions, programming and collections to explore the history of the region in order to better understand the world we live in and build a stronger community for the future.
The Jefferson Memorial Building section of the Missouri History Museum was originally built as the first national monument to Thomas Jefferson, preceding the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. by over 25 years. The Museum now features special exhibits and St. Louis history galleries with interactive stations for children throughout.
"In the Sproutlight" is a sponsored opportunity. For more information on sponsorship, email [email protected] or call 636-828-4246.