archives

Historic photographs

This tag is associated with 34 posts

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, [...]

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 [...]

A Thorny Path: School Desegregation in Baltimore

May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education. Activism in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland had been building toward a case for integrated public education for many years prior to the decision. Maryland has almost always occupied an ambivalent position on racial matters. [...]

Maryland on a Half Shell

The waters of the Chesapeake Bay have long sustained life in Maryland, providing both industry and food. Cities and towns sprung up along the banks of its tributaries and quick access to the Atlantic Ocean allowed international trade to flourish and spurred the growth of Baltimore and Annapolis. Seafood was a staple in every Marylander’s [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

“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 [...]

A Safe Harbor: The Port Mission in Fells Point

The Southeastern Baltimore neighborhood of Fells Point was, until recent years, a rough and tumble sort of place – a sharp contrast to what is today an upscale and historically charming part of the city. Sailors, arriving from all corners of the world, crowded into rowdy saloons and bawdy boarding houses while awaiting the next [...]