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5 Colorized Photos from Joplin’s Past

A look at Joplin's rich history

Joplin, Missouri has a rich history dating back to when the city was founded in 1873. It quickly grew into a major mining center as it was known for its lead and zinc mines. The city’s economy boomed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Since then, Joplin has undergone many changes over the years, but its unique charm remains. The city is home to a variety of historical landmarks, including the Joplin Museum, historic downtown area and several original buildings that are still in use today.

To celebrate Joplin’s history, we found a couple black and white photos and put them through the new Photoshop AI features to colorize, de-age and restore them see what they would’ve looked like in full color. And the results are awesome! 

These photos offer a glimpse into what life was like in Joplin, Missouri over a century ago and serve as a reminder of the city’s vibrant past and the people who lived here.

Shout out to for the photos!


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Joplin Worth Block circa 1902

The Worth Block was one of the tallest buildings in Joplin, Missouri in 1902 was located at 4th and Main which is now home to Spiva Park. It was built by James H. Worth, a prominent businessman and housed a variety of businesses, including a “Donehoo the Druggist” drugstore, the Keystone Bar, and the Connor hotel. It was also a popular meeting place for people in Joplin.

In the colorized version, you see the red brick walls of the Worth block standing out against the blue sky. People are gathered on the sidewalk in front of the building, dressed in clothing that is typical of the 1900s.

The colorized version of the photo brings the Worth block to life and serves as a reminder of the city’s vibrant past and the people who lived here.

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The Joplin Supply Co. circa 1913

This photo of Fourth Street looking east – sometime before 1913.  In the photo, we see busy 4th street, men in suits walking, a trolley steetcar  and the  Joplin Supply Co. 

In 1913, the Joplin Supply Company was one of the largest and most successful companies in Joplin. The company employed over 100 people and had an annual sales volume of over $1 million. The company was also a major taxpayer in Joplin.

In the colorized version, we see the man on the right’s blue suit with brown pants, the black car (possibly model T) and brown brick buildings. On this photo, we used a colorizing tool as well as de-aging to remove film grain from the photo.

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500 blk of S. Main street ,1943

This photo shows a man riding a bicycle through a flooded Main Street in Joplin, Missouri in 1943. The floodwaters are deep, and the water is up to the man’s knees with his bicycle nearly submerged.

In the background, you can see other buildings like the famous Newman building, today’s City Hall building at 602 S Main, and structures that are also flooded. The water has reached the first floors of many of the buildings.

The photo is a powerful reminder of the devastating flood that hit Joplin in 1943. The flood was caused by heavy rains that fell over a period of several days. The rains caused the local rivers and streams to overflow, flooding much of the city.

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The Connor Hotel circa 1908-1920

This photo shows the Connor Hotel at 4th and Main in Joplin, Missouri, taken between 1908 and 1920.

The Connor Hotel was a place where people come to celebrate special occasions, to conduct business, and to simply enjoy the finer things in life. The Connor was one of the most prestigious hotels in Joplin in the early 1900s.

According to, the photo shows us facing west in the intersection of 4th and Main Street. To the right,  you’ll notice the concrete curb which belongs to the above-mentioned Joplin Worth Block. This also means that the famous Keystone hotel is just to the left slightly out of the frame.

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The Christman building circa 1917

Located at on the corner of Main Street and 5th Street, the Christman Building is one of the most iconic buildings in Joplin, Missouri. The building was built in 1917 and was home to the Joplin Tobacco Company for many years. 

The Joplin Tobacco Company was a major employer in Joplin and produced a variety of tobacco products, including cigars, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. The company’s products were sold throughout the United States and the world.

Since then, the Christman Building has been used for a variety of purposes, including a retail store, a warehouse, and an office building. The building is part of Joplin’s rich history and serves as a symbol of the city’s prosperity and entrepreneurial spirit.

Today, you can still see the fading ads on the south side of the building and can still clearly read “Christman’s”.

About this project

At Explore Joplin, we believe that exploring new technologies like AI can help people connect with the city’s past and local culture in fresh new ways.

We hope you enjoyed this look at Joplin’s history. If you are interested in learning more about Joplin’s past, we encourage you to visit the Joplin Museum of History & Science and visit Historic Joplin’s website.

Thanks for reading!

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