Edward Gardner Lewis was the publisher of the Winner (1899, renamed the
Woman’s Magazine in late 1902) the Woman’s Farm Journal (1901),
the Woman’s National Daily (1906), Beautiful Homes (1909),
Palette and Bench (1909), the St. Louis Star (1909) and the
Woman’s National Weekly (1911). While his earliest publications used limited
original photographs, their use became more prominent and more frequent with the
development of University City. In addition to appearing in his subscription based
publications, photographs appeared in all materials used to promote his real estate and
business ventures, as well as the American Woman’s League and the American
He employed many local photographers, including Eugene Taylor who became a well known St.
Louis area commercial photographer. Although many of the photographs have suffered some
physical damage over the years, they are remarkable for their clarity and for the sites and
events they depict.
About the Collection:
The University City Public Library Archives contains more than 5,000 photographs.
A large portion of the early University City photographs were taken by Lewis Publishing
Company photographers for use in Edward Gardner Lewis’ newspapers, magazines and
promotional materials. A number of these were donated to the Library Archives by George Lewis,
nephew of Edward Gardner Lewis, who saved them from destruction. Many have suffered damage
from moisture, dirt and even insects. There is no standard size for these photographs, and
many were hand cut and have no straight edges. Many have ragged or deteriorating edges and
damaged corners though some were trimmed in early efforts to preserve them. Another early,
and unfortunate, preservation effort was to laminate some of the more fragile ones. This
lamination sometimes causes distortions in the scanned product.
But in spite of condition problems, these photographs are remarkable for their content
and detail. No original negatives survive, but we believe they were large format and even