Cars have made a big difference in your life, from providing the setting for your first kiss to taking you on that insane cross-country family vacation that almost had you walking home from California. Similarly, the "horseless carriage" made a considerable impact on our fair city. In fact, at the beginning of the twentieth century, St. Louis was the Detroit of the times. Don't believe it? Well, pay a visit to the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue), where all manner of artifacts, photographs and other items, including ten vintage vehicles, make up Shifting Gears: The Automobile Industry in St. Louis, 1890-1930. This new exhibition not only proves our prowess, but it also gives you the chance to find out about early speed limits (nine — no, not ninety — miles per hour!), have a close-up look at the 1919 Dorris Motor Company's panel truck (pictured) and learn about the world's first gas station, which opened up in St. Louis in 1905. Admission to the show is free (if only car repairs and gasoline cost the same), and Shifting Gears remains on view daily through Sunday, April 1. For more information about the exhibit and the History Museum's hours (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday), call 314-454-3150 or visit
Oct. 18-April 1

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