Philip B. Perlman Collection - PP147

Collection finding aids of Photographs Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

ca. 1917-1952

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, October 1999



Philip B. Perlman (1890-1960) was a Baltimore native, the son of Benjamin and Rose Nathan Perlman. Graduating from City College in 1908, Perlman worked as a reporter for the Baltimore American while studying political economy at the Johns Hopkins University. He studied law at the University of Maryland School of Law, being admitted to the bar one year prior to receiving a law degree in 1912. He began working for The Evening Sun in 1910, first as a court reporter, and then as City Editor from 1913-1917. It was probably at this time that he got to know H.L. Mencken.

Leaving newspaper work in 1917, Perlman began many years of public service, interspersed with private law practice. Initially he worked under then Attorney General of Maryland, Albert C. Ritchie, as an assistant in the State Law Department, then became Assistant Maryland Attorney General in 1918. With Ritchie’s election to the Maryland governorship in 1919, he appointed Perlman Secretary of State. Legislation drafted by Perlman included the bill providing for women’s voting. In the 1920s, Perlman was City Solicitor of Baltimore and established a private law practice; in the 1930s he served on a commission to revise city zoning laws and on the first Maryland Water Resources Commission; in the 1940s he advised Governor Lane on issues such as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge construction and highway improvement. In Perlman’s private law practice, he was noted for civil rights cases.

Moving to the level of national politics, Perlman became U.S. Solicitor General from 1947-1952 under President Harry Truman, chaired Truman’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, and was noted for helping to write the 1948 and 1960 platforms for the Democratic National Convention. At the time of his death, Perlman maintained a law practice with the firm Perlman, Lyons and Emmerglick (Browning?) in Washington, D.C., was president of the board of trustees of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, and a member of the Maryland Historical Society. He was also a member of the National Press Club and the Associated Jewish Charities. A bachelor, he had a home on Park Heights Avenue in Baltimore, and a suite at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Collection Origin

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Dupkin II, 1991 (003483, 003511).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 11 photographs, some autographed, made in ca. 1917-1952. There are individual and group portraits including Philip B. Perlman, H.L. Mencken, Governor Albert C. Ritchie, Adjutant General Henry M. Warfield, Senator George L. Radcliffe, Emerson C. Harrington, Adlai Stevenson, and President Harry S. Truman with his Commission on Immigration and Naturalization. Several of the photographs were taken at the Governor Ritchie’s 1920 inauguration.

Note: The collection also contains several pieces of printed ephemera: a menu from a 1957 dinner honoring Harry S. Truman, signed by Truman; Perlman’s 1948 Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from University of Maryland; and a 1952 certificate from Truman appointing Perlman Chairman of the President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1

PP147.1 – H.L. Mencken, ca. 1917. Signed by Mencken.

PP147.2 – Philip Perlman and Albert C. Ritchie (?). (NOT FOUND)

PP147.3 – Group portrait of Gov. Albert C. Ritchie and others, 1920. People not identified, but appear to be same group as in PP147.5.

PP147.4 – Group portrait of Gov. Albert C. Ritchie and others, 1920. People not identified, but appear to be same group as in PP147.5.

PP147.5 – Group portrait of Gov. Albert C. Ritchie and others on inauguration day, 1920. People identified as Emerson Harrington, Albert C. Ritchie, Henry M. Warfield, George L. Radcliffe, and Philip B. Perlman.

PP147.6 – Philip Perlman, ca. 1950.

PP147.7 – same as PP147.6.

PP147.8 – Philip Perlman with Adlai Stevenson, 1952. Signed by Stevenson.

PP147.9-.11 – Group portraits, President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, 1952. People identified. PP147.9 is signed by Truman. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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