Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Artifact: African Wood Carving
Date: ca. early to mid-1990s
Significance: This wood carving, along with two others of differing sizes (see website for additional photographs), was gifted to LCMS World Mission by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ghana. Not much else is known about these three beautiful carvings other than that they presumably depict life in west Africa.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Artifact: Louisiana Purchase Exposition Materials
Significance: The three-day dedication of the buildings of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (known to many as the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair) was held April 30 to May 2, 1903. (The fair did not open for another year to allow for construction of additional buildings.) This fair celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) has several artifacts and papers from this World’s Fair, some of which are simply general souvenirs collected, but others actually deal with the Synod. This exposition was the first in which the Missouri Synod hosted an exhibit—one on Lutheran schools.
Click here for more information and to see larger images of the artifacts.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Artifact: Synod Gavel
Significance: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod was officially organized 166 years ago on 26 April 1847. The gavel pictured (Walther side) is an artifact that represents the LCMS. Since the gavel was made in 1911, Synod presidents have used this beautifully carved gavel to open and close each Synod convention. It will be used once again at the convention this July 20–25.
Click here for more information and to see a larger image of this artifact.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Artifact: Baseball Challenge Letter
Size: 10 x 8 inches
Significance: This letter is evidence of one of the extra-curricular activities in which students at Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, participated during the 1870s. On the right is a written challenge from another team for a game, and on the left is a list of the nine players and their positions.
Click here for a transcription of the letter and larger images of this and two other letters of the same kind from 1877.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Size: 17.75 x 9 x 38.5 inches (w x d x h)
Significance: This wooden crucifix was used in the second sanctuary of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Saint Louis, located at 15th Street and Delmar Avenue from 1868 to 1919. Immanuel was one of the four congregations that made up the Saint Louis Gesamtgemeinde (joint congregation) under C. F. W. Walther.
Click here for larger images of the artifact.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Artifact: Lithograph of the Ev. Luth. Orphanage (Waisenhaus) and Church (Kirche), St. Louis County [Des Peres], Missouri
Size: 13.5 x 10.25 inches
Significance: The Lutheran Orphan’s Home, built in 1868 and pictured on the right in the lithograph, was the first Lutheran orphanage of the Missouri Synod. On the left is Saint Paul Lutheran Church, which became the “mother church” for the orphanage. The lithograph artist was F. W. Wehle. This image shows the original building and grounds of the site, where the children had chores both inside and outside, including caring for a large vegetable garden and livestock once the home became reasonably self-supporting.
Click here for a larger image of the lithograph.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Artifact: Ojibwe-English Dictionary
Size: 8.0 x 12.75 x 2.5 inches
Significance: Rev. Ernst G. H. Miessler, a missionary to the Ojibwe people (also known as Chippewa) in Michigan, compiled an Ojibwe-English dictionary in the 1850s with the help of his interpreter. The bound, handwritten dictionary pictured is actually a second revision as the first was destroyed in the great Chicago fire in 1871. Titled “A Dictionary of the Chippiway Language, Part II, Chippiway-English,” the volume has a nine-page introduction in German by Miessler dated 1903.
Miessler died on 1 March 1916.
Click here for larger images of the dictionary.
Check out our new display celebrating 100 years of missions in China. It is located in the lobby of CHI’s main building on the campus of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. The display presents the early history of the mission, including numerous photographs of the mission and missionaries and featuring cultural artifacts from China.