🔧The Baltimore Museum of Industry celebrates Maryland’s industrial legacy and shows how innovation fuels ongoing progress. Our exhibitions, educational programs, and collections engage visitors in the stories of the people who built Baltimore and those who shape the region’s future.
The Baltimore Museum of Industry is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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Welcome to the Baltimore Museum of Industry! Join Alexis Ojeda-Brown for quick look at the museum all about work.
Video produced by Aliceanna Collective courtesy of the Greater Baltimore History Alliance.
From the 1870s to 1920, corner bars–or saloons–became fixtures in working-class neighborhoods throughout Baltimore. Made possible by the direct sponsorship of breweries, corner bars were social centers where patrons could grab a “free lunch” with the purchase of a five-cent drink, discuss politics and labor organizing, send and receive mail, cash paychecks, and even find jobs or financial assistance. Warm in winter and cool in summer, these “workingman’s clubs,” as they were known, provided community and security for the regulars who made them their own.
As social institutions, corner bars reflected the segregated and exclusionary practices of their time and place. For one, they were almost exclusively male. Working women could partake in free lunch–provided they entered the side door, or the “ladies entrance” and ate in the back room. In the evenings, working-class women would get their beer to go, a practice called “rushing the growler,” and would then partake with neighbor women on stoops in courtyards where they could keep a watchful eye on children playing. Black patrons could not enter the saloons through any door in white or white ethnic neighborhoods for fear of rejection or outright violence for attempting to cross the color line in segregated Baltimore.
Like other galleries at the BMI, The Neighborhood Corner Bar exhibition is immersive. The exhibition features a long wooden bar with a brass rail and a mirrored cabinet in the rear, both flanked by historic beer advertisements, sample menus, and photographs–many of them donated by local family members of past bar owners during community collecting events held around the city.
Saturdays, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – starting May 20, 2023
The BMI Farmers’ Market is a great way to spend your Saturday mornings. The Market provides a safe, socially distanced opportunity to shop local. You can find fresh produce, oven-fresh bread, bright flowers, tasty ready-to-eat treats, artisan items, and more grown/made within 150 miles of the museum. Masks are encouraged for the safety of all visitors. See you at the Market!