YouTube Playlist for Students
For teachers or parents looking to supplement social studies learning or our student group experiences, check out our Youtube Student Playlist as a resource.
Lights On City Kit Introduction
How does light help us to see and communicate? In this STEM activity kit for first and second graders, students will explore several methods for communicating with light and sound, test their skills using Morse Code, and then create their own light communication device.
Cannery City Kit Introduction
Inspired by the BMI’s keystone Kids’ Cannery program, the Cannery City Kit encourages students in 2nd-8th grades to think about the different types of work involved in the process of preparing, preserving, and providing food for communities by exploring primary source images, building their own vegetable can, and flexing their math skills through steps to build a canning business.
Kids’ Cannery Workers
At one point, canning was the second largest industry in Baltimore, employing many workers throughout the city. Learn more about the lives of these workers and their jobs in Mr. Platt’s Cannery in this short video.
Mr. Platt’s Cannery
The canning industry in Baltimore encompasses centuries of state history and changed the way we eat food. Built in 1865, the Baltimore Museum of Industry was originally a cannery owned by a man named Landra Beach Platt.
Shucking oysters was one of the few jobs available to African-American unskilled workers when the Platt oyster cannery was built in 1865. This 1938 recording is from the National Folk Festival in Washington D.C. It is a typical spiritual tune that oyster shuckers sang as they toiled at the cannery. Be sure to listen for the sound of oyster shells hitting the bucket as the workers sang. Featuring the Rock Hall Shuckers of 1938.
Blacksmith tools would be a hammer, a pair of gloves, long tongs to keep you from burning your hands, and the most important thing—the anvil. If you walked into a blacksmith shop, this is what you would hear.
The work environment in a machine shop was actually very pleasant. You might expect it to be noisy—but cutting metal is really not a noisy operation. Learn more about the museum’s belt driven machine shop.
Baltimore was famous for making garments, especially men’s suits. One fourth of all the city residents worked in the garment industry. Many of the garment workers were immigrants, and were able to find jobs working for companies that made clothing.
Sweatshops in Baltimore relied on immigrant labor, exploitation of women, a demand for clothing, and the location of Baltimore far inland, close to farms in the midwest, as well as its location in a busy seaport.
The spread of information changed dramatically starting around 1450 when printing presses became more prevalent. The introduction of moveable type, the letters of the alphabet cast in iron, sped up the process.
In Baltimore the name Mergenthaler is well known. It was Ottmar Mergenthaler that invented the linotype machine in 1884 and revolutionized the publishing industry. Learn more about the Linotype with retired linotype operator/volunteer Ray Loomis.
Did you know that pharmacies have been around since the 1850’s? In fact pharmacies used to go by the name “Drug Store”. Drug Stores were neighborhood fixtures across America.
Pharmacy-Sit-in at Read’s Drug Store
Before civil rights legislation was passed, not all patrons were allowed service at Baltimore lunch counters and restaurants. A policy of racial segregation prevented African-American citizens from using these facilities.