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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Light Street: 1906

Light Street: 1906

Baltimore, Maryland, circa 1906. "Light Street looking north." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Light Street 1912

The rowhouse businesses on the left had been torn down by the time of the 1912 photo below (looking southeast from Light and Pratt Sts. toward Federal Hill Park).

Photo courtesy of

Just Amazing!

I can't get over the high quality of this shot! So much going on the the picture, too. I almost feel as though I could click a "play" button and watch it come to life.

I believe the location is just below present day Pratt St., on what would be the west side of Light St., where the Verizon Building is today. The pier buildings on the right would occupy the space of McKeldin fountain.

Light and Lombard

The building with the white "Hunter" flag (about midway up on the left) is still there (22 Light Street) but not much else. It's the third building on the left in the Street View image.

View Larger Map


There is one woman, barely visible, under the second arch to the right. You can just see her skirts and apron.

Traffic jam

Wow, this is indeed a spectacular photo! You post one every couple of weeks, Dave, that could be studied for hours. It's amazing just how busy things are. All the little details are incredible -- like the horse that's being fed atop a crate on the lower right.

Keep up the great work!

Men's Work

There's not one woman visible in this photo!

What an amazing photo!

Thank you for answering my first question about the strange pants on the man on the wagon. I have two others:
1.) How old were those rowhouses when these photos were taken?
2.) Why are all those men standing on the curb at the lower left?

[Gravity. - Dave]

Holey Pillow-pants, Batman

If it's a pillow, I can't imagine what use it might have. Unless, perhaps, it's for piles. I would have thought, though, that a less obvious and more expansive cushioning bight have done a better job.

[If you ever had to pilot a horse wagon over brick and cobblestone all day long, you might be able to imagine. - Dave]

Which is why I was wondering why it's so small. You'd think it would need to cover a bit more of his backside. Personally, I'd simply use a cushion.

However, I wonder if he (or more importantly, his wife) knows his posterior has been preserved for posterity....

Speaking of Baltimore

Do you take requests? I just finished watching the HBO series "The Wire", which was shot on location in many of Baltimore's old, working-class neighborhoods. In the show, there were a lot of great shots of now decaying neighborhoods filled with slightly sagging row houses on streets paved with bricks. I would love to see those neighborhoods in better times. It broke my heart to see such charming neighborhoods in such a state of disrepair.

As for this picture: Spectacular! This must be one of the most condensed and crowded scenes I've seen on Shorpy's.


I'm gonna guess this is near the present day Inner Harbor. Googling along Light Street, I found many examples of what John Waters once referred to as "the polyester of brick."

Oh Wise One

Dave, please enlighten the poor clueless Shorpsters such as myself.How can I say this any other way but, what is that appendage on that guy's behind?

[Looks like a small pillow or cushion attached to his pants. Or possibly a patch that needs patching. Where's a Pantitorium when you need one? - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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