I absolutely love looking at old pictures. It transports you to that time, and if you were alive during that time, it brings back old memories. My kids love checking out my giant 80s hairdos, and I love pics of my parent’s 60s style. The 1950s have always been depicted as a golden time, and if you were there, you know whether or not that is true. Let’s peruse some Missouri photos from that time, and see just how different (or the same) things are today.
1. Boys exploring the Jesse James Cave, high on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River near Sugar Creek, 1950.
2. An intersection and Standard service station on Highway 61 in rural Missouri, 1956.
3. Farmers unload produce at City Market in Kansas City, 1950.
4. Historic American Buildings Survey photo of the Planters Hotel in St. Louis, 1950.
5. Billboards along Highway 66 west of its junction with Highway 50 in rural Missouri, 1952.
6. Thousand Hills State Park Marina in mid-1950s.
7. Interior of Katz drug store in Kansas City, 1950.
8. Kansas City’s Union Station filled with travelers sometime in the 1950s.
At one time the Missouri Station served more than 200 trains a day. By 1974, they were down to only six per day. Recently, Amtrak has been working to upgrade rail service and attract more passengers.
9. Milwaukee Railroad SW Limited No. 26 in Chillicothe, late 1950s
Chillicothe was one of the Milwaukee Railroad's stops on SW Limited Number 26 from Kansas City to Chicago. The conductor was James E. Huffstutter.
10. St. Louis Movie Theater, 718 North Grand Avenue, 1954.
Awesome night view with Missouri and American Theater marquees in the distance. At its height of popularity, this dazzling stretch of North Grand known as the Grand White Way boasted nine different theaters, high-rise residential hotels, office buildings, and fashionable shops. It was truly a center for St. Louis nightlife and recreation for decades, until suburbanization in the 1950s and ’60s caused the once-bright lights to fade. The Grand White Way is one of the 50 places featured in the Missouri History Museum's 250 in 250 exhibition. Photograph by Dorrill Studio, 1954.
11. Well house and pump in Dunlap, 1957.
12. Unidentified secret ship anchored to a sand bar on the Missouri River near the old Standard Oil Refinery in Sugar Creek, 1951.
The old junior tug had run aground and was finally abandoned. It was very close to the old Jesse James Caves up on the bluffs overlooking the river.
“If there is one photo of growing up in the 50s, this is the one that remains most definitive of how much fun us guys had in a day when there was less regulation and less concern about the whereabouts of the neighborhood boys. There was less concern, not because people were nicer then, but because the population was about half of what it is today, thus less creeps around to prey upon youth.” –Robert Huffstutter
13. Bristol School in Independence, 1950s.
14. 1950s prom photo, photographer and photographed couple unknown.
This picture was found in a Missouri antique mall.
15. Used car lot in Trenton, Frank’s Used Cars on 9th Street, 1958.
“One of the best things about the location of this used car lot in Trenton, Missouri in 1958 was the Maid-Rite hamburger stand just a block east on 9th. While lingering on this lot talking with my uncle Frank, i was often overcome by the greasy good smell of the steamed burgers and headed on down the street. There was a most fantastic pin ball machine inside with lots of bumpers and bouncers with illustrations of buxom blondes smiling and lighting up every time they got bounced by one of the pin balls. There was a lot of laughter, malt mixing machine noises and pin ball noise inside the Maid-Rite. It was the perfect place for sixteen year olds. There were some cute country girls who lingered around and enjoyed talking to city boys like me. Yes, i told them all about the latest trends, like the pink and black fashion craze. The nearest drive-in movie was in Chillicothe, Missouri, out of bounds for all of us. Those were great times in the late 50s.” –Robert Huffstutter
16. The back of this photo claims that it is from "I Love A Rabbit," Vet's Bldg. Linwood & Paseo" (wherever that may be - Kansas City, possibly), taken during the summer of 1951.
A special “thank you” to Robert Huffstutter…6 of the 16 photos were his personal photos depicting his own memories. Thank you for putting these wonderful photos out there and making them available to us! Do you have any photos from the 50s that you would like to share? We would love to see them! Memories from that time? We would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.