Immigrants have long played an integral role in Baltimore’s industrial history.
The BMI is committed to connecting this past with present—and future—Baltimore residents. As you walk in the front entrance of the museum, you immediately see signage in the lobby about immigrants and a list of the places they came from. From Ottmar Mergenthaler’s arrival from Germany and his subsequent invention that revolutionized the print industry, to the women working in the sweatshops of the garment industry, many of the innovations, inventions, and hard work were done by people new to America.
The Port of Baltimore was the second leading point of entry for immigrants, after Ellis Island. The influx of these new arrivals helped to create the rich diversity we have here today, with neighborhoods full of restaurants, churches, and festivals dedicated to preserving and sharing the best of individual cultures with other groups. Each new American has the potential to follow the tradition of those who came before, and make their mark on the world.
Thanks to a multi-year donation from the Nestico Family Fund, the Baltimore Museum of Industry has offered a range of initiatives supporting new citizens and English language learners in the Baltimore area.