mdhslibrarydept

mdhslibrarydept has written 63 posts for underbelly

“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 [...]

Scenes from the ’70s: The East Baltimore Documentary Photography Project

In 1976, Maryland Institute College of Art photography professor Linda G. Rich, and two of her students, Joan Clark Netherwood and Elinor B. Cahn, began work on a project documenting the large swath of neighborhoods collectively known as East Baltimore. What was intended to be merely a project for Rich’s class on social documentary photography, [...]

A Monumental Undertaking

If you are fortunate enough to live or work in Mount Vernon, you’ve probably noticed the barricades that recently went up around the Washington Monument. The Baltimore Sun has been covering the project for months, and surprise!, there has been no lack of controversy regarding overall restoration of Mount Vernon Place. City Parks and Rec, at [...]

“Some Account of Mr. and Mrs. Cohen’s Fancy Ball,” February 2, 1837

Several days after Benjamin and Kitty Cohen hosted their glamorous party, James Macon Nicholson (1807-1975) dutifully fulfilled his promise to send an account of the event to his mother at Wye House.(1) Too ill to attend, Rebecca Lloyd Nicholson apparently longed for every detail, but her son found his memory “considerably at a loss.” Nicholson [...]

A Hutzler’s Christmas

The holiday season at Hutzler’s, the famed Maryland department store chain, was always merry and bright. Each location was trimmed to the nines—bedecked with garland, pine trees, and tinsel, with Santa Claus visiting each day to hear the Christmas wishes of all the good little girls and boys of Maryland. Some lucky kids even got [...]

The Dream of the ‘90s is Alive: Pre-processing the Joseph Kohl Collection

Whatever you do, do not mistake the title of this post as a diss. The photographs taken by Joseph Henry Adam Kohl (1957 – 2002), and left on deposit here at MdHS by his friend Carl Clark, capture an era in the greatest sense of that cliche. Best, too, not to take the title too [...]

Industrial Art: The 1858 Artists’ Excursion over the B&O Railroad

On June 1, 1858 a motley group of artists, poets, journalists, business and railroad men, and photographers boarded a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train at the Camden Street Station in South Baltimore bound for Wheeling, Virginia (today West Virginia). Their five day trip, across central and western Maryland and Virginia, was a unique event in the [...]

Thanksgiving photographs

There’s not a lot to say about Thanksgiving that pictures can’t say better. For many it’s a time to think about what we are thankful for. For others it’s a time to eat, a lot. For others still, it’s a barbaric time of year. Happy Thanksgiving from the Underbelly staff at the Maryland Historical Society. [...]