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Baltimore in the 1940s

What was 1940s Baltimore like? Great photos and stories from Baltimore in the 1940s.

Baltimore's downtown week in 1948

Baltimore’s Downtown Week in October 1948

Here’s a cool old advertisement that we dug up in the Sunday edition of The Baltimore Sun from October 17th, 1948. It’s a program spurred on by Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro — also known as the...
1943 Elevated streetcar of Baltimore

Elevated Streetcar of Baltimore in 1943

This cool old image of Baltimore shows an elevated streetcar. Source: Library of Congress From my Googling around, it looks like this is near the 200 block of Guilford Ave. What do you think?...
An aerial view of what is now considered the Inner Harbor shot October 20, 1948. (Robert F. Kniesche/Baltimore Sun)

1948 View of Baltimore Harbor

Check out this great photo of Baltimore Harbor from the fall of 1948.
Harry S Truman addressing the crowd at a train stop in Baltimore in June of 1948. (Robert F. Kniesche/Baltimore Sun)

President Truman’s Whistle-Stop Campaign in 1948

We came across a great photo of President Truman on a train in Baltimore, so we did a little digging. Here’s the article that we dug up in The Baltimore Sun on June 19th, 1948....
200 block of S. Caroline St. in 1940

What Did 1940s Baltimore Look Like?

Here’s a photo of Baltimore from June 8th, 1940. You’re looking at the 200 block of S. Caroline St., north of Gough and south of E. Pratt. Source: Digital Maryland Here’s what it looks...
"Row houses, Baltimore, June 1940." Medium format safety negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration

What Did Baltimore Look Like in 1940?

Here’s a beautiful photo of Baltimore row houses from 1940, before World War II. You’re looking at Washington Blvd. at Bayard St. Source: Shorpy Here’s the exact spot today using Google Street View.

Downtown Baltimore in the 1940s

This is what Baltimore looked like some time in the 1940s. The first one below is labeled Guilford and Fayette. Source: Flickr user Kevin Mueller This second one is Howard St. Source: Flickr user...
April 1943. "Baltimore, Maryland. Third shift workers waiting on a street corner to be picked up by car pools around midnight." Last seen at the lunch counter. Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information.

1943 Baltimore Workers Flash Mob

Check out this great photo of workers on the street corner waiting to be picked up during World War II.
Continuous stream of trolleys carrying workers from the Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard to downtown Baltimore disgorges passengers who rush for other trolleys and buses. Trolleys from other parts of the city are sent to this route at hours of the shift change in order to take care of the traffic and follow each at one minute intervals

Trolleys from Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard

Below is a photo from 1943, showing crowds of people getting off the trolleys from Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard.
Bullets v. Capitals box score

Baltimore Bullets Beat Washington Capitals; Take First Place

We came across this article from November 19th, 1944, when the Baltimore Bullets beat the Washington Capitals basketball team by the depressed score of 33 to 32. Washington, Nov. 18 (Special) — The Baltimore...

Mayor D’Alesandro Protests Suburban Virginia Airport for D.C. (1949)

This is a great post that we’re sharing on our sister site, Ghosts of DC. Airline traffic was getting too heavy for National Airport to handle by the end of the 1940s. The region’s...

1941 Map by the Roland Park Company

Check out this great old map of Roland Park in 1941. Source: University of Maryland Thanks to the awesome collection available at the University of Maryland.
Smithwood Avenue branches off to the right while Edmondson Avenue slopes uphill on the left heading east toward the city of Baltimore. In addition to automobile traffic, Edmondson Avenue at the time accommodated the Baltimore Traction Company No. 14 trolley line. A junction for three rail lines was located immediately behind the photographer's vantage point. These houses still exist, albeit with vinyl siding applied over the handsome cedar shingles. Oh, and the streets have since been paved. Photo taken about 1925

Story Behind a 1925 Catonsville Home

This is a beautiful old photograph from 1925 showing a home in Catonsville. And, it’s one that makes you wonder who the people are. What are their names, and what did they do? This...
Thursday night shoppers in a line outside a movie theatre

Lined Up Outside Movie Theater

Here’s a photo from the 1940s showing a crowd of people lined up outside a movie theater. Anyone recognize this theater? Source: Library of Congress
painters at the Bethlehem-Fairchild shipyard in May 1943

Painters at the Bethlehem-Fairchild Shipyard

This is a truckload of painters at the Bethlehem-Fairchild Shipyard taken at the height of World War II. Source: Library of Congress
April 1943. "Baltimore, Maryland. Trolleys inside the Park Terminal at night." Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information.

Park Terminal at Night in 1943

Check out this beautiful photo of trolleys at night. This was taken in April of 1943. Source: Shorpy
woman trolley driver - 1943

Woman Trolley Conductor

Who is this? I wish we could do some digging to figure out, but all we know is she was one of the women trolley conductors in Baltimore during World War II. This photo...
Baltimore shoe shine boy - 1943

Nameless Baltimore Shoe Shine Boy

Wonder what happened to this young guy. Source: Library of Congress
Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards, Baltimore. 1941. "Between the ways of this large Eastern shipyard run tracks for flatcars carrying materials or sections to be hoisted onto the deck of Liberty ships under construction."

Great Photo of Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards in 1941

Source: Shorpy This is a terrific old photo from just before World War II.
Little Italy residents in 1943 react to Italian surrender

Little Italy Reacts to Home Country’s Surrender to Allies in 1943

It must have a been a time of great internal conflict for a number of Little Italy residents during World War II. Many of them were born and raised in Italy, and their home...
May 1943. Baltimore, Maryland. "Electric welders working on the Liberty ship Frederick Douglass at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards." Photo by Roger Smith for the Office of War Information.

Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard for Victory

What a powerful photo from World War II. Here are two shipyard workers building the Liberty Ship Frederick Douglass in 1943. Source: Shorpy
1948 Baltimore police

1948 Baltimore Police Car

This is a cool old photo that we dug up on Flickr. It shows a 1948 Chevy BPD police car. Source: Flickr
1943 Baltimore trackless trolley

Trackless Trolley to Roland Park

Check out this great photograph from 1943. It shows a group of people getting ready to board the trackless trolley to Roland Park. Source: Library of Congress
Oriole cafeteria map of Baltimore (1947)

Oriole Map of Baltimore in 1947

These are two interesting items that we found in the Johns Hopkins archive. No, these aren’t Baltimore Orioles baseball maps. There used to be a few Oriole Cafeterias in the city between 1922 and...
National Brewing Company advertisement

National Brewing Company of Baltimore

Who doesn’t love Natty Boh in Baltimore? Check out this old (and verbose) advertisement from the¬†Baltimore Sun, printed on Tuesday, August 1st, 1944. And, for some historical context, D-Day was just seven weeks prior.

Baltimore Sun Ads the Day Pearl Harbor Was Attacked

We always find the juxtaposition of normalcy within the context of historical events fascinating. We wrote a post quite some time ago about life in D.C. the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by the...
Baltimore trolley leaves the terminal at night

Cool Photo of Trolley Leaving Terminal at Night

What a cool photo. You should save this as your desktop wallpaper. It shows an old trolley leaving a terminal at night. This photo is labeled April, 1943. Source: Library of Congress
Baltimore Sun headline

Three Men Get Life Sentences for Thames Street Firebomb Deaths

This is a crazy story, and I’m sure it’s been lost to history. This is an article that we dug up in the Baltimore Sun from October 5th, 1947.  Three men yesterday were sentenced...
Frank Zappa

Three People You Didn’t Know Were From Baltimore

For our inaugural Baltimore “Three Things …” post, we are going to highlight three people whom you might not know were from Charm City. 1. David Abercrombie Yes, that’s right. The dude responsible for...
"Row houses, Baltimore, June 1940." Medium format safety negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration.

Great 1940s Photo of Row Houses

Can we get a little help identifying this block? Anyone out there recognize this? Source: Shorpy