St. Louis
Updating Feb 2015

Welcome to the St. Louis page!


For the early aviation fans, get ready to take off with this wonderful short movie made by Win Perkins, compiled from original newsreel footage and photos of Charles Lindbergh's famous flight. Hit the CONTACT button when you reach the website and enjoy!

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- St. Louis was more than a textile, shoe and beer brewing mecca; industries of all types flourished in the river city. It boasted almost 95 toy and novelty companies and shops from about 1880 to 1970. The Metalcraft Corporation might be the most well-known overall, but for younger generations it might be Trendmasters or Cepia (makers of Zhu-Zhu pets). One company lost in the mix which has recently gained some attention from an article in Antique Week is ALOX of St. Louis. They were one of the largest producers of kites and yo-yo's for many years. At my last toy show I purchased an advertising postcard from ALOX, giving the complete name 'Alox Manufacturing Company' residing at 6403-7 Maple Ave in St. Louis. They were producing razor strops circa 1920.

Many other toy companies have come and gone including Widler and Timely. Some of the buildings still stand, including the Metalcraft building in North St. Louis. The original Metalcraft plant where the trucks were produced, still stands on Penrose. Below are new photos I took in 2009- 2010; little has changed with the factory within the past 10 years, the remaining glassblock windows on the front of the building (facing Penrose) have been boarded over, the sides of the building appear to be the same.


Copyright Andrew Tolch 2009


St. Louis Baseball .....

Former St. Louis Browns player and all-around great guy, Bill Jennings, passed away this October. I got to know Bill about 10 years ago. Here is the only real baseball card made of Bill, it was issued about a half of year after he played with the Browns in 1951. R.I.P.



Route 66 icons:


The refurbished Donut Drive-In Neon Sign at Watson Road and Chippewa is proudly standing again after a much needed face-lift!



Follow developments and news pertaining to historic structures in Saint Louis on: BUILT ST. LOUIS HERE



The Clemens Mansion at 1849 Cass Ave in North St. Louis. I took these photos on June 3, 2009
(Sanctuary building is on the right, Clemens house has the blue tarp over the porch)






--- Trautwein Shoe Store and the original Red Goose Shoes Sign (Gravois Rd.)



NEW photos of the building of Noah's Ark Restaurant in St. Charles, Missouri.
I had the pleasure to know the designer and sculptor: Edna Goodenough.



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Edna on the right loading the Elephant on its trip to the construction of Noah's Ark.

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The original Metalcraft (Toy) Corp. building as it still stands in North St. Louis.

At one point the majority of the building was covered in windows and glass blocks, allowing a large amount of natural light into the plant, but in the words of designer Al Korte, making it 'hot as hell in there during a St. Louis summer'. Edna Korte, Al's wife, said Al would come home in the summer evenings still wet with sweat from the factory.


St. Louis Automotive tidbits.....

The Willys Overland Company sold cars in 1911, in St. Louis at 5885 Delmar.
Here is the original sales annoucement:




All photos copyright and property of the Andrew Tolch collection.




A salesman's sample pump from the St. Louis Gasoline Pump Company (date unknown).



St. Louis LINKS of interest


Preservation Research Office (Ecology of Absence)---updated link.

Bygone St. Louis - A site featuring historic St. Louis photos, drawings and prints.

BUILT St. Louis - A site dedicated to historic architecture of St. Louis, Missouri.

VANISHING STL - Chronicles of the vanishing urban landscape of St. Louis.

The Missouri History Museum - A wonderful trip through time for family and friends.




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