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Damon Talbot

This tag is associated with 21 posts

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. [...]

“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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

Return of the Whipping Post: Mining the Museum

(This is the second part of a two part series – The first part of the story was posted on October 3, 2013 and can be read here.) When a museum acquires an artifact, it often goes directly into some dark storage area never to see the light of day again. This was the case [...]

“Only the Instrument of the Law”: Baltimore’s Whipping Post

On a cold March day, three blue-clad guards strapped Baltimore printer Clyde Miller to a cross-shaped wooden post in the Baltimore City Jail, arms outstretched and naked to the waist. As 50 witnesses looked on, Miller was brutally flogged 20 times with a cat o’ nine tails—a whip with multiple knotted thongs—at a rate of [...]

Happy Birthday, Henry – A Mencken Mystery

(Editor’s note, 10/21/2013 – Thanks to the kind assistance of one of the best sources on all things Mencken, Mr. Vincent Fitzpatrick, Curator of the Mencken Room at the Enoch Pratt Library, the mystery of the Mencken photographs has been solved. (Captions for the photographs reflect the updates.) According to Mr. Fitzpatrick, the photograph of [...]

Ocean City: The Great March Storm of 1962

“This is the worst disaster in the history of Maryland in my time,” declared Maryland Governor Millard Tawes in March of 1962 as he surveyed the remnants of Ocean City by helicopter following one of the most destructive storms to ever hit the eastern seaboard of the United States. The nor’easter that bombarded the Atlantic [...]

The Photographs of Robert Kniesche

When longtime Baltimore Sun photographer Robert Kniesche died in 1976, a colleague praised him as “one of the best cameramen The Baltimore Sun ever knew.”(1) Although far more obscure than his famous contemporary at The Sun, Aubrey Bodine, Kniesche left behind a body of photographic work that stands among the best produced by a Marylander [...]