1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Baltimore

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16580861922 Encyclopædia Britannica — BaltimoreLawrence Counselman Wroth

BALTIMORE (see 3.288).—The pop. of Baltimore, the 8th city of the United States in number of inhabitants, increased in the decade 1910-20 from 558,485 to 733,826, of which number 108,390 in 1920 were negroes as compared with 84,749 in 1910. The 31.4% increase in the total population represented in part a normal growth or one caused by the establishment of new industries, and in part an annexation (Act of Legislature of 1918) of 63.13 sq. m. containing several thickly settled manufacturing districts. This accession of territory increased the taxable basis of the city from $915,433,444 in 1918 to $1,086,349,852 in 1920.

Manufactures.—In 1914, Baltimore ranked 11th in the value of its manufactured products and 8th in the average number of industrial wage-earners among the 130 leading American cities. The capital invested in its manufactures was $177,301,000; the value of its output was $215,171,530, and its wage-earners in manufacturing plants numbered 73,769. There were 21 industries which exceeded one million dollars in value of product; the clothing industry led with products valued at $44,482,136, while copper, tin and sheet iron ($18,842,186), printing and publishing ($10,283,775), cars and general shop construction ($10,038,911), slaughtering and meat packing ($9,503,883), and canning and preserving ($7,789,125) followed in the order named. Unofficial figures (Board of Trade, Baltimore City) showed that from June 1 1919 to May 31 1920 100 new industries and 134 expansions of old industries increased the number of persons employed by 39,850 and added $72,612,200, or 40%, to the manufacturing capital of the city. This great increase may be attributed to differential freight rate on goods from the west, deep-water manufacturing sites, steamship connexions, coastwise and foreign, and abundance of labour. Baltimore is a popular city with labour because in normal times its markets are notably cheap, and the continuance in Maryland of the ground-rent system makes possible the purchase of homes by labouring men on easy terms. In 1919 permits were granted for the construction of 3,700 two- and three-storey dwellings. Six hundred building and loan associations make it possible for labouring men to purchase easily houses of this type without hardship.

Commerce.—As an export port, Baltimore advanced notably in the amount of its business. In 1908 its exports amounted to $82, 113,496; its imports $23,722,045. In 1918 the total value of domestic exports was $300,144,011; in 1920 $381,532,145. Its imports[1] in 1918 were $35,982,665, and in 1920 were $69,885,165. In 1918 it exported 51,085,209 lb. of bacon and ham; 156,141,175 lb. of copper; 10,408,382 bus. of oats; 17,158,200 bus. of wheat and 76,879,176 lb. of leaf tobacco. In 1919, its wheat exports had increased to 25,501,321 bus. and its leaf tobacco to 149,529,865 pounds. Its principal imports in 1919 were copper (22,540,577 lb.), corkwood and waste (7,338,391 lb.) and mineral oil (200,298,000 gal.). In 1920, 1,809 vessels engaged in foreign trade (tonnage 5,218,089) cleared the port of Baltimore. Municipal Improvements.—The physical characteristics of Baltimore were much altered during the decade 1910-20. By a paving loan of 1906, and by a special paving tax of 1912, funds were provided for the conversion of a “cobblestone city” into one with 210 m. of modern smooth-paved streets at a cost of $9,500,000. Three concrete tubes were constructed in the bed of Jones Falls, which had become an unsightly open sewer, and into these the stream and an additional flow of stormwater sewage were directed and carried through the city for a mile-and-a-half. On top of these tubes a highway was constructed, known as the Fallsway, which relieved the congestion of north and south traffic between the water front and the up-town railroad yards. At a cost of $23,500,000 the main work of installing a new sewerage system, begun in 1905, was completed in 1916. A dam at Lock Raven (2,000,000,000 gal. capacity) and a filtration plant at Montebello for impounding and purifying the Gunpowder river water supply were constructed. A general “City Plan,” although only partly carried out by 1920, provided for the best treatment of all city utilities, streets, harbour, parks, railways, from an artistic as well as from a utilitarian standpoint. A civic centre was provided and Mt. Vernon and Washington Places, the setting of the Washington Monument, were completely changed in their landscape and decorative features. A boulevard, almost completely surrounding the city, connects the several parks.

Annexation and Loans.—One of the most important of all changes was the passage in 1918 of an Act of the Maryland Assembly by which to the 32.19 sq. m. of Baltimore territory were added 51.83 sq. m. of land and 11.30 sq. m. of water, making the total area 95.32 sq. m. and adding about 100,000 persons to the population. At the Nov. election of 1920, the people voted overwhelmingly in favour of four improvement loans, aggregating $51,750,000, the several items of which were the Public Improvement Loan (schools, sewers, streets and bridges, harbour improvements, etc.) $26,000,000; the Water Supply Loan $15,000,000; the Port Development Loan $10,000,000; the Municipal Hospital Loan $750,000.

Finance.—Fifty-seven Baltimore banks and trust companies, exclusive of private banking firms showed Jan. 1 1920 aggregate resources of $522,783,000 and deposits of $414,453,000. In 1919 Baltimore was the 11th city in the country in bank clearings with a total of $4,343,446,572, a gain of 29.4% over the preceding year and of 91.6% over 1917.

Education.—Notable progress was made by Johns Hopkins University in the decade 1910-20. The public library system of the city (the Enoch Pratt Free Library) which in 1910 had one central building, 12 branches and two stations, reported in 1920 the erection of six additional branches, and that plans had been accepted for the erection of four more branch buildings.

Religion, Charity, Hospitals.—In 1916 there were 494 religious organizations in Baltimore owning 455 places of worship, and church property valued at $16,167,350. The total church membership was 296,599, approximately one-half the population. In numbers the Roman Catholic Church led with 137,730 members (100,397 in 1906), and following it in the order named came the Methodist Episcopal Church 30,217 (24,605 in 1906), the Baptist Church (National Convention, Coloured) 24,648 (16,081 in 1906), and the Protestant Episcopal Church 17,209 (16,812 in 1906). In 1915 all the charitable agencies formed an administrative association, the Baltimore Alliance of Charitable and Social Agencies, which coordinated the work of the individual organizations.

History.—The mayor of Baltimore from 1907 to 1911 was J. Barry Mahool, Democrat. From 1911 to 1918 the mayor, James H. Preston, and the City Council were Democratic. A Republican mayor, William F. Broening, was elected in 1918, but the City Council continued to be Democratic. In the World War the Baltimore militia organizations, the 4th and 5th Maryland Regts., were combined with the 1st Maryland to form the 115th Inf., U.S.A.; the Md. F.A. (3 batteries) became the 2nd batt. of the 110th F.A., U.S.A. Several smaller units followed these into the 29th Division and were trained at Camp McClellan, Ala. The infantry units of this division saw service at the front in France. Sixteen thousand five hundred men were raised by selective draft. Many of these received their training at Camp Meade, Md., and saw service at the front with the 79th Division, as the 313th Infantry Regiment.

Bibliography. United States Census Reports: Manufacture, 1914; Religious Bodies, 1916; U.S. Census Bulletin, Populations Maryland, 1920; Statements on file in Office of Collector of the Port of Baltimore; General Message to the City Council of Baltimore, James H. Preston, Mayor, 1918; Statistics of Baltimore Board of Trade, 1920. (L. C. W.)

  1. Import figures are for the U.S. Customs District of Maryland, of which the Port of Baltimore business represents approximately 95%.