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Around the Columns

Go forth and read this book

Imagine Glasgow, Mo., circa 1908. Steamboats ruled the river, horse-and-buggy traffic filled dirt streets, and most men wore hats. Pick up Historic Photos of Missouri (Turner Publishing, 2010), and you can see for yourself (or just watch the slideshow below).  


Adobe Flash version 8, or higher, and Java Script are required to view the slide show for this feature story.

Journalism graduate Alan Goforth of Lee’s Summit, Mo., wrote the text and captions for the book’s nearly 200 photographs that span the 1860s to the 1970s. All photos are courtesy of the Library of Congress and Missouri State Archives.

Goforth, MA ’85, author of three full-length books, found it challenging to stick to the one or two sentences a caption allows. The book contains four sections, each featuring Goforth’s introduction explaining the photos’ historical context. 

 “Everyone knows the major cities, but the diversity of the state impressed me,” Goforth says. The book features a number of transportation photos. From the early steamboats and railroads, all the way to Charles Lindbergh and The Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, the book illustrates Missouri as an innovator in transportation. 

As a Mizzou fan, Goforth says the 1940s photo of Memorial Stadium featuring the iconic rock “M” stands out for him. “Those were the beginnings of the Don Faurot era that really put a stamp on Mizzou,” he says. 

Goforth says the work was a labor of love. “Writing the book gave me a greater appreciation for Missouri.”