This panoramic perspective view of Baltimore, Maryland was drawn by Edward W. Spofford and published by Norman T. A. Munder & Co. in 1912. Baltimore was established in the early 1700's as a shipping port for the tobacco trade. Its port at the mouth of the Patapsco River maintained easy access to Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad extended to the northwest through the river valley towards Pennsylvania destinations. Baltimore’s transportation abilities led to its importance as a major shipping center for overseas shipments as well as cargos heading northwestward and to the south.
Baltimore suffered during the early 1900's, as the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 devastated a huge area of the downtown core. Most of the burnt buildings had been rebuilt by 1912, with new fire fighting improvements in place.
The illustration includes streets, buildings, port activities and waterways. The bird’s-eye view of the heart of Baltimore explains:
“The original of this picture was sketched in pencil by Mr. Edward W. Spofford in the Fall of 1911, a little over seven years after the disastrous fire, which laid in ashes practically all the section of the city shown in the foreground. That the city should have rebuilt on such a splendid scale in so short a time is a magnificent tribute to the enterprise and ability of her citizens”.
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