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Baltimore in the 1950s

What was 1950s Baltimore like? Great photos and stories from Baltimore in the 1950s.

In 1950, the city’s population topped out at 950,000 people, of whom 24 percent were black. Then the white movement to the suburbs began in earnest, and the population inside the city limits steadily declined and became proportionately more black.

In this November 1950 picture Kniesche show a nighttime picture of the 3400 block of Eastern Avenue looking west in Highlandtown. (Robert F. Kniesche/Baltimore Sun)

1950s Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown

This photo shows Highlandtown way back in 1950. You’re looking at the 3400 block of Eastern Ave. Click on it for some amazing details. Here’s the same area on Google Street View today.
1954 Orioles schedule

Gunther Beer 1954 Orioles Schedule

What a cool find! This is the Orioles’ inaugural schedule for the Major Leagues in 1954. Source: Digital Maryland

The Aurora Theatre in 1953

This is a view of the Aurora Theatre sometime in the 1950s. And, after doing a little digging, we see that The Tall Texan, with Lloyd Bridges — the Big Lebowski’s real life dad — was released...
1955 football

Polytechnic vs. Forest Park High Football Game

Here’s an old picture of a football game between Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Forest Park High School at Memorial Stadium. Source: Kilduffs
Read's on Lexington Street

Read’s Drug Store, a Part of the Civil Rights Movement

Read’s Drug Store was a Baltimore based chain of drug stores founded in the 1800’s by William Read. The downtown store was one of the first stores involved in the country’s very first anti-segregation sit-in during...
Baltimore Century Theatre

Century Theatre on West Lexington

Here’s a picture of one of the many popular Century Theatres located in Baltimore before the 1950s.The theatres lined the blocks of Lexington, Charles and Cathedral St.Unfortunately, the theatres were torn down in the 1960s and...
Catonsville home advertisement

Catonsville Home for $57 Monthly Payments

This is an ad that we dug up in The Baltimore Sun from January 7th, 1951.
This double-ended, 1918 vintage Baltimore Traction Company Brill streetcar has just begun its in-bound journey from Ellicott City, Maryland, heading east to Baltimore on the No. 9 line. Positioned here at 8304 Main Street, car 5706 is about to plunge down a fairly steep grade (about 5%) that bottoms out at the Patapsco River crossing seen here. It must climb a longer but less arduous slope on the other side.

Ellicott City Trolley (1955)

Here are a couple cool old photos that we dug up on Shorpy. It’s a vintage 1910s streetcar running in 1955. Source: Shorpy Source: Shorpy
Frienship International Airport

What Was The First Flight to Land at Friendship (BWI) and Who Was the First Passenger?

Now this is some excellent trivia for you. The first flight to use the airport was Eastern Air Lines en route from Atlanta to Newark, landing just after midnight on July 24th. Source: Kilduffs Below is...
Towson home advertisement

Towson Ranch Home for $19,800

Here’s an advertisement that we found in The Baltimore Sun, printed on January 7th, 1951. Source: Baltimore Sun
The Catonsville Junction was the terminus for the Baltimore Traction Company's streetcar lines 8, 9, and 14. On this 1950s summer day, a light grey over pencil-yellow Pullman-built PCC (Presidential Car Commission) streetcar departs southbound on the private, quarter mile right-of-way that emptied onto Frederick Road and continued eastward into the city of Baltimore. The little Belgian block gabled structure on the right is still there today, as are the houses in the center rear. The Amoco structure has been replaced by a modern Seven-Eleven convenience store.

Catonsville Junction in the 1950s

This is an excellent old photo of Catonsville Junction, the terminus of the old Baltimore Traction Company’s streetcar lines. Source: Shorpy
Fallsway 1950s

Downtown at Fallsway in the 1950s

What a cool photo. We dug this one up on Flickr. Source: petespix75

Then and Now: Intersection of Fulton, Hollins, and Frederick in 1954

Check out the 1954 image of this intersection … Source: Flickr user hoteldennis
Maryland Casualty clock tower in the distance (1950s)

The Maryland Casualty Clock Tower

Is there something so identifiable with a city that, when you visit, you just have to see it? Such as New York and the Statue of Liberty or Philadelphia and the William Penn statue. See the...
1958 MLB All-Start game

1958 MLB All-Star Game at Memorial Stadium

The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be held in Baltimore was in 1958, four seasons after the Orioles arrived in town. The American League came out on top 4-3 that game, on July 8th,...

Pan Am’s First Passenger Jet to Europe (1958)

This is a cross-post from Ghosts of DC. Aviation has a strong history in the Washington area. Following on the heels of our last aeronautical first (Concorde at Dulles), here is another first for the region...