Founded as a humble trading post along the Mississippi River 250 years ago, St. Louis has since grown into a thriving metropolis. It appears to be a calm city, but like the mighty Mississippi, it has powerful undercurrents. Known as the "Gateway to the West," St. Louis was a port city and home to many manufacturing businesses making everything from shoes to ships. St. Louis, though, is perhaps best known for its breweries and distilleries. St. Louis: Out and About in the Gateway City captures the energy of people bustling along the street, dining out and going to movies, hopping a trolley, swimming, picnicking, clip-clopping along in horse and carriage, ice skating, or driving an automobile. It also touches upon issues of the day that had to be overcome-suffrage, the Great Depression, and civil rights, to name a few-and shows the resilient spirit of the people of St. Louis.
Raymond Bial has published more than 100 acclaimed books of photographs and fiction for children and adults. He and his wife, Linda, have lived in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, for 40 years. Over those years, his family has made many jaunts to St. Louis and loved every moment of every visit.