M-170: Dick Lemen Collection of St. Louis Photographs

Dick Lemen, river enthusiast and historian, utilized his skills in photography to preserve the fading memory of America’s inland waterways. Both a collector of historic images, and a photographer himself, Mr. Lemen actively worked to document the boats and people of the river. To show the rich detail in images, he often enlarged sections of photographs, emphasizing an intricate ships rail, or a single child playing. His photography work was exhibited at several institutions, including the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Richard Lemen, a life long resident of the Moline, IL area, died June 13, 2001 at the Illinois Veterans Home, in Quincy. Originally the images were captured on glass plate negatives by photographer Charles Clements Holt (1866-1925) and his staff in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Negatives of these images were collected in the later part of the century by Dr. William G. Swekosky, as part of his work to document St. Louis’ historic houses facing demolition. In the early 1960s, a friend and fellow photographer, Dick Lemen arraigned with Dr. Swekosky to borrow the glass plates to make prints, later purchasing the negatives. While Dr. Swekosky had obtained the images as documents of structures, Mr. Lemen focused on the residents and details of everyday life of St. Louis, and brought the streets to life. In the 1980s Mr. Lemen donated the images he printed from these negatives to the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Other portions of Mr. Lemen’s personal papers and photograph collections are located to the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa. www.rivermuseum.com
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis


6th and Locust Street
Street scene at 6th Street and Locust Street. Man standing by sign for Dr. E. B. Chase.
7th Steet
Caption on verso reads "7th Street." The image is the brick sidewalk and cobblestone street during a period of inactivity. The storefronts appear closed and there is a lone figure in the center.
7th and Washington
Pedestrians walking in the rain at 7th and Washington, looking east.
7th and Washington
Seventh Street and Washington, looking east. Signs on building advertise the plays Bunty Pulls the Strings and Within the Law.
Ash Wagons
Photograph of parade of St. Louis city ash wagons. Small businesses are visible in the background. A large warehouse is also visible.
Autos and Partition Sale
Cars parked near streetcar tracks, Saint Louis, Missouri. Large building in background has signage stating that building is for sale (partition sale) at auction.
Back of Urban Residential Housing
Photograph of rear of urban residential housing showing laundry drying.
Barber Pole and Man
A photograph of a Barber pole with a man in the background., This is the only photograph in the collection framed on the diagonal.
Bellboy on Street
Photograph of daytime street scene featuring a young Bellboy standing at the curb. An automobile and streetcar are visible in the street. Two well-dressed women are visible to the right. The intersection in the background is with Sarah Street.
Belle of Calhoun
The Belle of Calhoun moored beside an industrial building.
Boyle Avenue
Photograph of automobile crossing streetcar tracks over wooden road crossing. Streetcar is visible in background moving towards crossing., The automobile appears to be a Packard limousine.
Boys at Construction Site
Photograph of five boys standing along the base of a poured concrete wall at a construction site. Two men are visible standing on top of the wall.
Broadway looking north from Market Street. Astor Theater, Senate Theater and the Liberty Central Trust Co. are visible on the west side of the street.
Broadway North From Market Street
Photograph of the intersection of North Broadway looking north from Market Street. The Old Courthouse is visible on the right, theaters and a hotel are visible on the left across from the Courthouse.
Broadway and Market Streets
Street scene at Broadway and Market Streets. Building housing the Westliche Post, located at 5th and Market, in background., The Westiche Post was a German-language daily newspaper that ran from 1857 - 1938.
Car Parked On Seventh Street
A photograph of an automobile parked on Seventh Street.
Cars In Front Of St. Louis City Hall
Photograph of a fleet of cars being photographed in front of St. Louis city hall., This is one of a sequence of photographs in the collection of an event in front of city hall to announce a new fleet of Model T cars purchased by the city. This photograph was taken from Walnut Street looking west towards city hall.
Cars Sold to the City of St. Louis
Men standing in front of and behind Ford Model T cars. Sign held up reads "These 14 cars sold to the City of St. Louis. Watch the Fords go by." 12th Street side of City Hall.
Central Library
Image of the St. Louis Central Library from 13th and Olive.
Chestnut Street West From 4th Street
Photograph of the intersection of Chestnut and 4th Street looking west along 4th Street. The Old Courthouse is visible on the left. Many automobiles are visible along 4th Street., Among the businesses visible along 4th Street are a hat company, a life insurance company a hotel and a burlesque theater.
Children Along Rope
Photograph of children standing along and hanging on a rope near a construction site. A large portion of the street has been excavated, a worker is visible in a hole in the street digging with a shovel. A couple of horse-drawn wagons are visible in the background.
Christmas Tree on North Tucker
Photograph of what appears to be a Christmas Tree arch display being set up on North Tucker Boulevard. The intersection with Washington Avenue is in the background.
City Street Construction
Photograph of construction in a city street. A section of cobblestones has been removed along a busy sidewalk. A boy with newspapers is standing in the construction area, other boys on the sidewalk appear to be engaged in a game.
City's New Fleet of Fords
The City's new fleet of Fords, on exhibition at City Hall, 12th street side.
City's New Fleet of Fords
The City's new fleet of Fords, on exhibition at City Hall, 12th street side.
Commission Row
The Caption on the back of the photograph reads" 3rd Street? Commission Row." The image is of a street scene with many horse-drawn carriages and several storefronts under a block-long awning. Businesses represented include Byrnes Belting Co., Hype Park Beer, Schwartz and Abrams, J. H. Russell & Son, Milligan Fruit Co., R. N. Miller Commision Co., and Hartman Bros.
Crushed Car
Car with driver's side crushed, parked on side of roadway. Men and horse in the background.
Demolition Site
Photograph of site where house has just been demolished in the midst of an urban area. Piles of large foundation stones are visible on the site and part of the foundation is still in place. Horse-drawn carts are visible on the site.


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