Greetings from Baltimore: postcard views of the city
Handpainted in soft colors, postmarks still visible, old postcards offer views of scenes both familiar and removed. Like family photographs, they evoke memories of a happy time gone by and like family photographs, they remind us of what's changed. Collecting more than 158 richly colored postcards from the past, Greetings from Baltimore provides an entertaining, nostalgic, occasionally ironic, always changing view of the best of Baltimore, from about 1905 to 1955. Here are steamboats along the old Pratt Street piersthe inner harbor that H. L. Mencken remembered as "so rotten, it smelled like a billion polecats"; the now defunct department stores at Howard and Lexington Streets; the Italianate Bromo Seltzer tower topped with the revolving blue bottle that had to be removed in 1936; the Patterson Park pagoda; the Shot Tower; Memorial Stadium in its shiny 1954 modernity and old, wooden Municipal Stadium, its predecessor; well-known restaurants and bars that have disappeared, like the famous Miller Brothers, Jimmy Wu's New China Inn, and Benny's, shown here full of servicemen and girls in 1945; long-gone amusement parks like Gwynn Oak, Carlin's, and the earlier Electric Park; and, of course, the Block. "Creatively colored and not simply reproduced from photographs, old postcards are genuine pieces of American folk art. More than that, they are reminders of a world that no longer exists. Many sites shown here, like the old Baltimore Post Office, are long gone, and the city is poorer for their loss. Others, like Camden Station, have been resurrected and adapted to new uses. Whether you have deep roots in this wonderful city, or are visiting it for the first time, I bring you Greetings from Baltimore -- from the Preface
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