Richard Lemen

September 1998


The Richard W. Lemen collection is made up entirely of photographs. The collection came to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Archives by donations made on two different occasions by Mr. Lemen. His first donation occurred in 1942. This included 549 photographs of various sizes, all of which were black and white prints of inland water steamers. The second donation occurred during 1978. This included 100 11x14 inch photographs depicting street scenes in the city of St. Louis.

Richard W. Lemen was a professional photographer who had a particular interest in steamboats. Mr. Lemen spent the majority of his life collecting images of various steamers. He donated many of his photographs to various archives and depositories, including the Missouri Historical Society, which owns both the negatives and the copyright to the images in this collection.

Many of the photoprints in this collection were made by Richard W. Lemen from originals or copies from various sources, including Charles Berkley, a Mr. Blanks of Vicksburg, George Coolidge, F.W. Crawford, Frank B. Elam, Ruth Ferris (a prominent local researcher), Ruth Grote, Jim Howard, J.H. Long, Marine Photo Company, the Missouri Historical Society, J. Mack Moore, Carolyn Ramsey, and C.W. Stoll. When conveying the collection to the National Park Service, Mr. Lemen included a descriptive list giving the name of the source and information about the photographs. This list is now incorporated into this finding aid as Appendix 4. The owners should be consulted prior to reproduction of any photographs from this collection.

The items in this collection were kept in the order in which they were received. Whether this was Mr. Lemen's original order could not be determined. Folder headings, folder descriptions, and "Lemen Numbers" were taken directly from Mr. Lemen's notes.

Information obtained from this collection must be properly cited, whether used in publication or in other formats. The proper citation for this collection is:

National Park Service

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Richard W. Lemen Collection


Box __, Folder __

and image number where applicable

Researchers are advised that before records, photographs, or any other unpublished materials from this collection can be published or exhibited, permission from the National Park Service must be obtained in writing.


Series 1. Steamboat Photographs

This series contains photographs of steamboats taken between 1863 and 1956, with the majority taken between about 1870 and 1940. Included are photographs of steamboat wrecks and steamboats damaged by ice and tornadoes. Also recorded in photographs are a number of sketches and paintings that were made prior to 1863.

Series 2. Other Subjects

This series contains photographs of river scenes, the levees of a number of river cities, canals, the Howard Shipyards in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and the Carondelet Shipyards in St. Louis, Missouri. There are also sketches of a number of early experimental steamboats that were constructed during the late 1700s and early 1800s. One folder contains photographs of the Old Courthouse and Old Cathedral in St. Louis, Missouri.

Series 3. Street Scenes

This series contains oversize photographs of St. Louis street scenes taken during the first half of the twentieth century, mostly before 1930. There are also about 45 oversize photographs of steamboats.

If you have any questions regarding archives holdings, contact Archivist Jennifer Clark at the JNEM Archives at (voice) 314-655-1600. Appointments are encouraged, if possible.

Last updated: October 1, 2020

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