Baltimore Daguerrotype – The Marsh Market Fountain

The Maryland Historical Society Collections Online holds this full plate daguerrotype in their collection – it’s huge at 6.5 by 8.5 inches. It captures the Marsh Market Fountain and Baltimore Street, a street more known in the modern era for strip clubs. The Center, or Marsh Market was established in 1784. It stretched along Harrison Street, between Baltimore and Lombard (then Water St), adjacent to where the Jones Falls Expressway now runs. The fountain, like many of its kind, provided water to the immediate district. These water sources were often polluted by waste, leading to outbreaks of cholera and typhus. Waterworks projects of the 19th century (like the Croton Aqueduct in New York City) began to bring in water from outside the city and contributed to the improvement in public health.

Read more about Baltimore markets here.

Photo credit: Maryland Historical Society.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.