Old Town Merchants and Manufacturers Association Records, 1884-1980 MS. 2652

Old Town Merchants and Manufacturers Association Records, 1884-1980
Maryland Historical Society

(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)

Old Town Merchants and Manufacturers Association Records, 1884-1980
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Fax: 410.385.2105

Descriptive Summary


MS. 2652

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674


Scope and Content

The Old Town Merchants and Manufacturers Association (OTMMA) was formed in 1883 to promote the interests of wholesale and retail merchants located in the Old Town area of East Baltimore, Md. It was disbanded in the early 1980's, ending a century of social and civic-oriented activities. Through proposals to the City Council, letters to state and local government officials, and contributions to charities and civic organizations the members of OTMMA fought to prevent the economic stagnation of Old Town.

Members of the Association included individuals as well as businesses, ranging in prominence from Gov. Theodore McKeldin to department stores to shoe repair shops. It is possible to trace the financial climate of the 1930's through the 1960's in Old Town, as members give notice of relocations, bankruptcies, and deaths.

The OTMMA collection is strongest in its representation of a variety of urban problems common in large cities between the 1930's and 1960's. These include abandoned housing, sanitary conditions, shoplifting, juvenile delinquency, taxation, and transportation problems such as parking, road repair, and bus service occasionally. Finally, the Depression and World War II were the two landmark events of this period for the OTMMA, and members responses are revealed through correspondence, the minutes, and in their charitable contributions.

The OTMMA as a social organization is also well-represented. Meetings involved refreshments, films, and presentations as well as discussions about pressing concerns. The Annual Banquet consistently produced a modest profit and was well-attended by Baltimore's business leaders. Finally, the Annual Outing was an opportunity for travel with no other purpose than cameraderie.

This collection spans the years 1884-1981, with the bulk of material falling between 1930 and 1960. Type of records include minutes, cash books and ledgers, bank statements, membership cards, correspondence, reports, bills, and receipts. The Association's minutes provide the most comprehensive look of OTMMA's activities, with reports on business-related problems, membership updates, presentations given during meetings, and planned social activities. Financial records such as the ledgers, cash books, bills, and receipts show income from membership dues, savings account interest, and banquet profits; disbursements include officers' salaries, charitable contributions, and meeting expenses. Correspondence (1933-1962) includes letters to and from the Maryland House of Delegates, the Maryland Senate, the Baltimore City Council, and various mayors, as well as organizations with similar goals as the OTMMA.


Susan Weinandy

Nov. 1986


Container List


Box 1

Constitution and by-laws, 1933




Minute book cover page, 1933




Minutes, 1942-1950




Minute book, 1950-1967




Ledger book “A”, membership dues, 1884-1888




Ledger book “B”, membership dues, 1888-1901




Box 2

Ledgerbook “C”, membership dues, 1901-1915




Ledgerbook “D”, membership dues, 1913-1923




Index to ledgerbook “D”, 1913-1923




Box 3

Cashbook, receipts, 1912-1924




Cashbook, receipts, 1925-1931




Cashbook, receipts, 1932-1977




Cashbook, receipts and disbursements, 1935-1948




Cashbook, receipts and disbursements, 1949-1957




Voucher stubs, 1910-1916




Box 4

Voucher stubs, 1925-1948




Check stubs, 1940-1942




Check stubs, 1942-1952




Box 5

Check stubs, 1952-1979




Cancelled checks, 1935-1936; 1957-1964




Cancelled checks, 1965-1979




Savings account statements, 1967; 1970-1975




Checking account statements, 1976-1980




Bank deposit books and electronic code cards, 1929-1933; 1940-1981




Bank deposit tickets, 1957-1977




Directory of the Mutual Savings Bank of the United States, 1927




Income tax forms, 1968-1974




Financial Committee reports, 1933-1943; 1957




Financial correspondence, 1933-1941




Bills and receipts, meeting services, 1934-1943




Box 6

Bills and receipts, florists, 1933-1940; 1956




Bills and receipts, printers, 1932-1967




Bills and receipts, miscellaneous, 1932-1940




Bills and receipts, miscellaneous, 1940-1974




Membership cards, inactive, A-I, 1941-1978




Membership cards, inactive J-Y, 1941-1978




Membership cards, sustaining fund, inactive, 1942-1969




Membership cards, active, 1969-1978




Box 7

Membership applications, 1933-1969




Membership due bills, 1934-1975




Membership lists, 1910; 1931-1976




Correspondence, membership status, 1933-1973; n.d.




Correspondence, general, 1933-1962, n.d.




Nominating Committee and Lists of Officers, 1936; 1942-1958; n.d.




Reports and Resolutions, 1934-1958




Notices of meetings and events, 1941-1954; 1957-1963; n.d.




Annual banquets, 1934-1960; n.d.




Seventy-first Annual Banquet, 1954




Seventy-third Annual Banquet, 1956




Seventy-fourth Annual Banquet, 1957




Membership in other organizations, 1933-1954; n.d.




Death Notices, 1961-1977; n.d.