M-169: The Emil Boehl Collection

Emil Boehl was a St. Louis photographer who primarily focused his camera on St. Louis streets, buildings, and locales. Born in Calvoerde, Germany, in 1839, Boehl immigrated to St. Louis in 1854. After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Boehl returned to St. Louis in 1864 and opened a photography studio with Lawrence Koenig that spring. With Koenig focusing on portraiture, Boehl became one of the most prolific St. Louis scenic photographers active in the latter half of the 19th Century. The Boehl/Koenig partnership lasted until 1897. Boehl retired from photography in 1919 and died later that year on the 12th of December. The Emil Boehl Collection consists of three series. The collection contains images dating from 1850 to ca. 1906. The collection’s archival materials include photographic prints and negatives. According to historians Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, Boehl’s career was from 1864 to 1919, and he was known to sell prints of Thomas Easterly’s daguerreotypes. In light of those facts, some dates in the Boehl Collection may be labelled incorrectly and/or some images may not be Boehl’s.
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis
Series 1: Large Photographic Prints
Series 1 contains photographic prints measuring 11 inches by 14 inches or larger. The majority of the photographs are matte-framed. Some of the images are dated, with the dates ranging from 1850 to 1900.
Series 2: 1904 World's Fair
Series 2 contains photographic prints of the 1904 World’s Fair, more formally known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. All of the images depict architectural content such as the various Palaces (e.g.: Palace of Electricity, Palace of Varied Industry, etc.), U.S. state buildings (e.g.: Missouri and Alaska), foreign nation buildings (e.g.: Brazil, Germany, and Japan), the U.S. Government Building, the Sunken Garden, Grand Basin, and Festival Hall. Two overview shots of the Fair are also included. The prints measure less than 10 inches by 10 inches.
Series 3: St. Louis Streets, Buildings, and Landmarks
Series 3 contains photographic prints and film negatives depicting St. Louis streetscapes, buildings, and landmarks. The series starts with street views arranged alphabetically by street (e.g.: Chestnut, Locust), continues with depictions of individual buildings arranged by building name (e.g.: Mercantile Library, Wainwright), and then ends with categorical folders (e.g.: hotel exteriors, residences, rooftop views) arranged alphabetically. The prints measure less than 10 inches by 10 inches. Some photos are dated, ranging from the 1870s to the early 1900s.

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