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mdhslibrarydept

mdhslibrarydept has written 60 posts for underbelly

Kohl’s Orioles, 1993

Our Baltimore Orioles are off to a bit of a slow start this year, but it is ridiculously early to start worrying. But this doesn’t mean that many of us won’t start worrying or haven’t already started. It’s a proud tradition of worry we have in Charm City. There are plenty of reasons to keep [...]

Poe and Alone

As you may know, in addition to being Earth Awareness Month and Financial Literacy Month, April is also National Poetry Month. Though financial literacy certainly is enticing, we figured underbelly could do a much better job promoting the latter, so we are highlighting a lesser known poem by one of Baltimore’s most famous residents. Though [...]

The Great Fight

Although it’s rare, a sporting event can sometimes transcend its role as pure competition and entertainment. Boxing in particular seems especially suited to seeing its participants elevated to more than mere sportsmen. Rather than just two men trying to knock each other unconscious, the combatants become symbolic representatives of larger social, cultural, or political forces. [...]

“Luv-lee weath-ar! All the time!”: The Summer of 1921 at Camp Hutzler

In July of 1921, four men in a Ford Model T pulled up to survey a small riverside clearing in the Patapsco Forest Reserve. At the site, men in neckties and women in white dresses were clearing the ground and pitching tents. As Joel and Albert Hutzler stepped out of the Model T, they saw [...]

A Magical History Tour of Maryland

Almost one hundred years ago, the world famous magician Harry Houdini dazzled a crowd of 50,000 with one of his signature death-defying escape acts. On April 26, 1916, Houdini freed himself from a straitjacket as he dangled upside down, sixty feet above the sidewalk from a cornice of The Sun building in Baltimore. City police [...]

Hagerty’s Hieroglyphicks

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching we thought it would be appropriate to feature three of the more beautiful and intriguing prints from our collection produced by John Hagerty, a Baltimore printer and the son of Irish immigrants: The Tree of Life, Hieroglyphicks of a Christian, and Hieroglyphicks of the Natural Man. More selfishly I was [...]

“The Most Spectacular Print of Baltimore Ever Made”

Working at the Maryland Historical Society, you get to see some pretty amazing things on a daily basis. From Francis Scott Key’s original draft of the Star Spangled Banner, early copies of the Declaration of Independence, and some of the first daguerreotypes of Baltimore harbor, to more recent gems like Eubie Blake’s collection of sheet [...]

“Home-made wines made of dandelions”: Prohibition in Maryland

This Saturday night, the Young Defenders of the Maryland Historical Society will be hosting its second annual Bootlegger’s Bash party at the 1840s Plaza at 29 S. Front Street, the site of the old Peale Museum. In anticipation of this popular fundraiser we have decided to share a selection of photographs, documents, and ephemera of [...]

A Mystery Admirer

In this Valentine’s Day poem, Cupid  promises the holiday’s namesake patron, St. Valentine, that he will search high and low for a most worthy maid to strike with his arrows of love. He comes upon Baltimore City, “Which though for a City ‘tis somewhat slow…Is renowned for its maidens fair,” where he discovers the incomparable Nannie [...]

The Dreams of Benjamin Banneker

Over the 200 years since the death of Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), his story has become a muddled combination of fact, inference, misinformation, hyperbole, and legend. Like many other figures throughout history, the small amount of surviving source material has nurtured the development of a degree of mythology surrounding his story. While myths make for great [...]