In 1816, Baltimore became the first city in the United States to install gas street lamps, which allowed Baltimoreans to go about their business past nightfall. In 2016, Light City Baltimore is celebrating Baltimore’s legacy of light with installations and activities throughout the city. We’re opening the Sun’s archives to take a look back at the gas lamps of history — the last were lit in 1957.
A. Aubrey Bodine
The Baltimore Sun has a rich history of photojournalism, employing a long line of award-winning photographers. One of the most notable photographers through the years has been A. Aubrey Bodine. A man known for his prickly personality, Bodine’s traits were only outdone by his beautiful photography.
From 1927-1970, Bodine’s pictorialist style earned him numerous awards and a worldwide reputation. In 1965, he had a show in Moscow that was the first exchange of one-man photography exhibits between the U.S. and Russia. In a 1949 contest by the magazine “Popular Photography,” Bodine’s picture of a Choptank oyster dredger was selected as first prize for best black and white photography, beating out more than 51,000 entries. He received a $5,000 savings bond for the award.
He was notoriously exacting, drawing on everything from seasonal light patterns to tidal charts to choose the right moments to shoot. He was fanatical, driving 30,000 miles a year in his car and dropping everything if he saw a good scene.
Bodine passed away on Oct. 28, 1970 after suffering a stroke in his darkroom.
The demolition of the L Blast Furnace at Bethlehem Steel in Sparrows Point recently brought about the end of an era to a Baltimore County icon. The mill was a place where generations of steel making families worked. During its many years of operation The Baltimore Sun has been there to document the company from industry giant to its final collapse. The Darkroom decided to take a look back at some of the memorable photos over the decades.
The black and white world of workers conquering tasks large and small is the subject of Bodine’s Industry: The Dignity of Work, a recently released book of A. Aubrey Bodine photographs edited by his daughter Jennifer Bodine. It’s also the subject of an exhibit of 70 photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Industry that runs from Oct. 15, 2013 to Feb. 6, 2014.
In the long history of photojournalism at The Baltimore Sun, there have been a number of great photographers. The new book, “Darkroom: Iconic Photography from Seven Baltimore Sun Photographers,” highlights some of The Sun‘s most talented visual artists and their body of work.
What does Christmas in Baltimore mean to you? Can it be viewing the wonderful light displays on 34th Street, visiting Santa for wishes of toys and puppies, amazed by intricate Christmas gardens or listening to merry tunes like “Crabs For Christmas.” In the latest retro installment from The Darkroom, we highlight Christmas trees, Santas, and decorations of years past. Take a stroll through memory lane or find tips for your holiday style. Photos featured include those from Sun photographers A. Aubrey Bodine, Lloyd Pearson, Walter McCardell, Richard Stacks, Weyman Swagger and Jed Kirschbaum.
Gobble, Gobble. This week marks the start of almost seven weeks of procrastination thanks to the holiday season. In our latest retro post, we share handsome turkeys from past years, classic Thanksgiving dinners, shopping at Lexington Market and festive images from the Toytown Parade.
Catonsville’s Henn quadruplets — Thomas, Donald, Bruce and Joan, in that order — were born on Dec. 22, 1946. By the time they were 1-year-old, the babies were already veterans of the international media spotlight and the subject of dozens of news reports from their discover in utero to their parents’ effort to care for them. They were photographed in 1947 by A. Aubrey Bodine for a Sun Magazine cover story.