Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MedChi’s 100th Anniversary

MedChi celebrated its 100th anniversary in April of 1899 with a series of dinners, lectures, and other events. As I have been looking through our archives, I’ve found several invitations, menus and ribbons that all commemorate this special events.

Let’s begin with the invitations. This one seems to be the best of the invitations. It’s for a dinner at the Hotel Rennert, one of the most posh hotels in Baltimore at that time. 100th invitation2

This invitation is to the opening of the Centennial Anniversary. McCoy Hall was at the Hopkins University campus and is now a freshman dorm.100th invitation

Lectures and oratories were huge during this time, and the arrival of Dr. Keen from Philadelphia was big. 100th invitation3

It always fascinates me to think of what MedChi’s printing bills were throughout our history! We printed programs, books, booklets, notebooks, and everything else! I love the gold and black ribbon on this program, still in great shape 115 years later. The colors on this program reflect the colors in the Maryland flag.100th program2

Every menu I’ve found in the archives starts with celery and olives, but this one’s got almonds, too! Today, this would be quite an elegant and unusual menu, but at that time, it was more commonplace. Very seafood heavy menu and no meat at all, which is interesting. And they didn’t skimp on the drinks with dinner!100th Menu

This is the special MMJ that came out in time for the Centennial celebrations. It’s hard to count the number of fonts on the cover!MMJ100 cover

And there are ribbons! I found these two recently, but don’t really have any idea of what they would have been attached to. The gold one is so interesting – it looks like they started printing Baltimore in one font and then ran out of letters and had to finish it in another font. centennial ribboncentennial ribbon2

Both of these feel and look like they’re silk satin.


  1. Was curious about the different font used on the word Baltimore -- Merriam's describes Bal as the medical abbreviation for balance (also bronchoalveolar lavage) so maybe it was a play on words. All very interesting.

  2. Hello Meg, I also saw the Baltimore ribbon as a play on words, but I thought of the French word bal, meaning dance or ball. If so, Centennial Bal referred to the celebration, and Bal-timore could be the equivalent of Party-town.

    By the way, I don't see any red meat on that menu, but don't sweetbreads and chicken count as meat?

    They certainly made an impressive effort for their centenary, and probably this sense of history is why so much stuff is still there for you to examine and catalog.