Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Maryland Medical Journal’s Ads, Circa 1899

I love looking at the old advertisements in the early Maryland Medical Journals both for their content and for their design. It’s funny how shocking some of them seem now. Ads for cocaine and heroin as well as numerous alcoholic preparations abound!

Here are some that caught my eye.

Malt Nutrine by Anheuser Busch… Also known as liquid bread, or beer!Malt 1Malt 2malt 3

Pepto Mangan Gude – helped stimulate the appetite and build red blood cells.Pepto 1Pepto 2Pepto 3

Cocaine. Nice to know it’s pure.cocaine

Beer & Rye WhiskeyBartholomaysMelvale

The design on these is really amazing, especially when you realize they’re engraved at size.GranumNeurosinepowder

Antiseptics are new to the field in the 1890’s. AntisepticPlatts

It’s fun to imagine the physicians going through the city in their phaetons.Phaeton

He can’t wait until he can chase her again!Colchi

Lots of ads for drunks and inebriatesinebriatesSheppard Pratt

Chattolanee Water… Greenspring ValleyChattolanee

Most of the bound sets of journals have the advertisements removed, so it was fun to find a full set of unbound Maryland Medical Journals.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The New Music Hall

Now, I know that you’re thinking, why is she talking about a music hall when this is a medical archives blog, but stick with me for a moment. When I was searching the pre-1900 Maryland Medical Journals, I came across an advertisement for the AMA Conference which was being held in Baltimore in 1895. It advertised the event as taking place in the New Music Hall, and was illustrated with this sketch.New Music Hall
Hmmm, I thought, that looks vaguely familiar, especially the tower in the background. So, I dropped the picture onto Facebook and let others do the research for me.

Within minutes, I had some answers. This building is currently the Lyric Theatre, and the tower in the background is the tower at Mount Royal Station. Apparently, the rounded section was never built, but if you look at the lines of the building, you can see the Lyric before the most recent renovations.

From my architect friend Eric, came this explanatory sketch.image
Although the angle is wrong, this is from the corner of Maryland & Mount Royal, you can see the vestiges of the original building. image
And this picture was posted, where you can see the end section with the columned fa├žade, but without the rounded portion. image
The advertisements for the AMA meeting were posted in the April 1895 MMJ, and the meeting was to take place in May of that year. So while they were advertising the meeting in the rounded building, it didn’t actually exist.
Nor, apparently, did this building. Amazing this building DID exist!
This sketch, from the Architectural Review, really makes it look like a stunning building. It is right around the corner, literally, from our current offices, but we didn’t build the building until 1909.
Here’s a section of an 1897 map that shows the Music Hall and the Exhibition Hall from the Bromley 1896 Map of Baltimore. I’ve added names to clearly show the streets, and noted where MedChi is now located. (It was a wagon works!)Map
Any thoughts or suggestions on these buildings are much appreciated!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


It snowed again this morning, and so I thought I’d post a picture of a snowfall many years ago, by the noted Baltimore Sun photographer, A. Aubrey Bodine. imageThis image is from sometime in the early 1960’s. We have two pictures, taken about two years apart. In one, there’s a house to the left of our building. And by the time this image was taken, it was gone. It’s funny to see the window wide open, with snow on the streets. You will notice that Cathedral Street is one way, southbound.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Taking advantage of the the new craze of coloring books for adults, the New York Academy of Medicine has organized a #colorourcollections fest! They have asked other organizations to participate in this, and we thought we’d like to be part of the crowd.

I’ve selected some old bills and receipts from long-gone Baltimore businesses for the first few pages. If you right click the images, you can open them in a new tab, or save and print them.

The American Iron Building, later the Baltimore News-American building.CB Iron Bldg

George O. Stevens, maybe have been a food purveyorCB stevens

DogCB Dog

Excelsior CB Excelsior

And here’s one of our historic buildings.cb medchi sketch

Thanks for playing along with more than 125 other cultural organizations around the world!