The Zoo, the Park, and a Baltimore Befuddlement

I’m not an expert on Baltimore, by any means. I’ve never lived there. I was born in Towson and grew up in Carroll County. But Baltimore was my first exposure to City and all that big “C” entails. The redeveloped … Continue reading

Maryland Material Culture: Bushel Basket

Quiz: What does a Marylander most often associate with a bushel basket? Sure, you can put fruit or vegetables in it (pick-ur-own or picked up at the farmstead), but Marylanders most want to see this lined with newspaper and stuffed … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday – B&O Centenary Pageant, 1927

Ladies in nymph-like attire twirling and leaping through fields – sounds like the turn of the century pageantry movement to me. The Centenary Pageant in 1927 for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is a rather late occurrence of this type … Continue reading

Don’t Confuse Geisha and Courtesans (Oiran and Tayu)

Images of geisha and courtesans are often mislabeled. For those unfamiliar with subtleties in the styling and wear of kimono, obi, and traditional Japanese hairstyles, it can be difficult to differentiate between a geisha, a bride, a housewife visiting friends, … Continue reading

Stripey Runaway Buys 10 Dozen Continental Buttons at a Vendue-Store in 1784

I was playing around on America’s Historical Newspapers, a digital subscription newspaper archive based on the American Antiquarian Society’s collection of historical newspapers. My mother’s family has been based in Harford County, Maryland for almost 400 years. A search on … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Redux

Better known as the PATH, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad began shuttling passengers through its cast iron tunnels between Manhattan and points in New Jersey in 1908. My travels have been constrained in the last couple of months due to … Continue reading

Lincoln Highway Snapshot: Fort Wayne to Wooster

5/24/2005 Wooster, OH I am bushed. 1:30am door pounding above at Regency Inn [Ft. Wayne] led to sleep scattering thoughts. Anxious and itchy literally to leave. Tonight treated self to much deserved night in a Best Western and meal at … Continue reading

Small Living Isn’t Morally Inferior

What happened to “less is more”? Dr. V and I are preparing for the arrival of our little guy Spud sometime in February (yes, ¬†you can expect a good deal of silence from me about that time). As I’ve described … Continue reading

Christmas Dinner on the Rails

Christmas generally takes us to Maryland. While the Amtrak train I take travels over the Pennsylvania Railroad into Baltimore’s Penn Station, here’s a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Royal Blue Line menu from Christmas Day, 1900. The selections are fun and … Continue reading

18th Century Convicts Marched from Newgate to the Port

Convicts made up one of the significant immigrant populations to the American colonies in the eighteenth century. But try locating an image that says “convict” if you are preparing a presentation. This image from The Newgate Calendar, a tabloid-like publication … Continue reading