mdhslibrarydept

mdhslibrarydept has written 65 posts for underbelly

Then and Now: the Mayfair Theatre on Fire

When we heard there was a two-alarm fire at the old Mayfair Theatre on the 500 block of North Howard Street last week, many MdHS staffers rushed outside and around the corner to see for ourselves. The once proud building is one of our favorite neighbors and we were all concerned. Most of us instinctually [...]

“Are We Satisfied?”: The Baltimore Plan for School Desegregation

(This is the second part of a two part series – The first part of the story was posted on May 15, 2014 and can be read here.) Baltimoreans, perhaps more than the residents of any other major American city, were poised to meet the challenge of school desegregation. The city’s public school system had already grappled [...]

Beatlemania in Baltimore

As Baltimore celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and the successful defense of Fort McHenry from invading British forces, there’s another British invasion worth remembering. It occurred fifty years ago and was of an entirely different sort. On September 13, 1964, The Beatles invaded Baltimore for a one-day stop during their first American tour. John, Paul, George, [...]

Head Cases: The Baltimore Phrenological Society

On February 17, 1827 an assemblage of distinguished minds from Baltimore’s medical community gathered at the home of Dr. Richard Sprigg Steuart for the inaugural meeting of a new scientific and medical organization. Among those present were Dr. William Donaldson, Sprigg’s medical partner; Dr. H.H. Hayden, dentist and future founder of Baltimore College of Dental Surgery; [...]

Baltimore and the Age of the Bicycle

The city of Baltimore grew up in the Age of the Bicycle. The introduction of the first precursor to the bicycle, the Draisine or hobby-horse of 1818, corresponds with Baltimore’s triumphant entry onto the national stage in the War of 1812. Baltimore, a mere village during the Revolutionary War, blossomed into America’s third greatest economic [...]

Up, up and away: Maryland’s First Birdmen

When the news broke of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s monumental flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, it sparked the imaginations of inventors and daredevils across the country and kicked off one of the most important technological revolutions in recent history. Man had reached the skies before in hot air balloons, gliders, and dirigibles, [...]

Capturing the Movement: Before and After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Photographs

Fifty years ago this week the Civil Rights Act of 1964 voided all discriminatory laws (de jure segregation) in the public arena. It went a step further than each of its predecessors of 1866, 1871, 1875, 1957 and 1960 by outlawing racial segregation in schools, the workplace, and other public spaces. Considered the most important act in its lineage, [...]

Judge Simon Sobeloff – Moderate to the Extreme

In his home town of Baltimore Judge Simon Sobeloff (1894-1973) was known as a man of principle and conscience. Though a Republican himself, he had strong relationships with party members on each side of the aisle, including mayors Theodore McKeldin(R) and Thomas D’Alesandro Jr(D). As his grandson Michael S. Mayer put it, “[he believed that] [...]

The (M)ad Men and Women of Hutzler’s

On any given day throughout the 1940s and ’50s, shoppers gathered around the Hutzler Brothers Company’s magical window displays on Howard Street. Costumers gawked at pristinely pressed panaches or furbelowed fashions framed by hand-written advertisements. The window displays became a part of the Hutzler experience. From ads in The Baltimore Sun, to the Art Deco [...]

Propaganda in the Free State: MdHS’s Collection of Poster Art

Before the advent of the internet, one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting the word out to people about a local festival, a concert, or a political message was by slapping a poster on a wall, storefront window, or telephone pole. Just recently, library staff completed an inventory of the over 1,300 [...]