Emme Gerhard (1872-1946) and Mayme Gerhard (1876-1955), the Gerhard Sisters, were among the first women photographers to establish a studio in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1903. At the time newspapers and magazines rarely hired women as staff photographers to capture late breaking news.
The Gerhards’ parents came to the United States as children from Cologne, Germany, in the mid-1800s. They settled in Mascoutah, Illinois, and had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, by 1869. Their father worked successively as a teamster, butcher, and storekeeper in the large German-American community, which included a large number of photographers, retouchers and engravers.