Row Homes

The History of our Baltimore Row-Homes

 Updated on January 13, 2017

This is an unofficial page, we are trying to get permission from the author and if not given soon this page will be removed.. we are thankful for the information gathered, and wanted to share it. But it is important to give credit where credit is due and let people know we did not write this it was brought to our attention by another reader of this page who thought we would be interested as he knows just how much we love the City of Baltimore

Dolores Monet

A lifelong resident of Baltimore, Dolores shares her interest in the historic spots of her beautiful and quirky home town.

Row House Style
Bill Bolten
Look at the varied facades, the arched window embellishments, and balconies. | Source

Baltimore has more rowhouses than any other city in the United States. The long rows of brick catch the sun and seem to glow with that warmth we associate with home. Basement windows hold little dioramas with personal or religious themes, and painted screens turn narrow streets into outdoor art galleries.

A row house is much more than a line of attached homes. Before the advent of real estate speculation and planned developments, many homes were attached, forming rows. But a real rowhouse describes a large group of similar homes built at the same time by the same builder. The early 1900s saw large developments of these homes when builders created entire new neighborhoods.

The proliferation of these dwelling made Baltimore a city of homeowners. In the late 19th century, 70% of the population of the city-owned their own homes. Practical, cozy, and attractive, these old homes are fuel-efficient.

When I was a girl growing up in the late 1950s, my auntie's row house still had a coal bin and a basement kitchen that was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The large end group house had a corner store in its high basement. Step over the marble lintel and into a small shop where the owner knows the names of all his costumers, and the favorite ice cream flavors of the children.

Listen to the twitter of sparrows and the call of the grabber, the fruit seller with his horse and cart clattering up the alley, bells tinkling, the soft chatter of neighbors out on their stoops, the laughter of children as they run up the alley. You're in Bawlmer, hon!

Dream homes
Painted Screens

Painted screens helped homeowners to see out while passersby couldn't see in. | Source

In the summer of 1913, the corner grocer at Collington and Ashland Avenues in the heart of Northeast Baltimore's Bohemian (Czech) community, was the first person to introduce colorful scenes on the woven wire. William Oktavec painted the front doors of his shop with images of the meat and produce he sold inside. 

A neighbor admired his artwork and its practical bonus of preventing passersby from seeing inside his store, while she could see outside. Wishing to maintain privacy in her rowhouse, she asked Oktavec to paint a screen for her front window and presented him with a colorful scene from a calendar. Each of her neighbors demanded their own - for every window and door of the house. Adjacent communities, in turn, had at least one enterprising painter eager to imitate the new trend, accommodate clamoring residents, and make some easy cash.Artists and dabblers have continued the tradition ever since. 

In 1922, Oktavec opened The Art Shop at 2409 East Monument Street where he sold painted screens by the thousands and taught art classes to neighbors of all ages. This was in addition to his church restoration and retail framing and art supply businesses. One of his students, Johnny Eck assisted three generations of Oktavecs when business was especially brisk. In the heyday of painted screens in the 1940s and 50s, resourceful men and women plied the streets of Baltimore by foot, by car, and from modest storefronts, supplying as many as 100,000 screens to eager homeowners. Over the years the popularity of painted screens ebbed and flowed. First, the World Wars dealt a blow, then air conditioners, then changing demographics and changing definitions of modernity. Today, renovation, replacement windows and the rising costs of custom art work add to the toll. At the same time, a revolution in crafting and entrepreneurship has found an eager audience of artists and admirers to take the art form into the 21st century as its popularity spreads far beyond Baltimore. 

Screen Painting Pioneers - Johnny Eck, Alonzo Parks, Ben Richardson, Ted Richardson, Richard Oktavec, Al Oktavec, Frank Cipolloni, Leroy Bennett, Greg Reillo, Charles Bowman, and my grandfather Leo Smith, My grandfather used to take a blank window screen sit up on an easel and sketch what he saw through the screen, then paint the screen in bright colors. Years after he stopped doing house screens, he bought an old Green Hornet an ugly little car, but he used to set up at flea markets and sell antiques and junk, not wanting to have to unload his car after each show, (we called them shows LOL I guess because we showed our junk) anyway, getting up in years he was tired of unloading after each show, so he painted the side windows from inside the car and painted a screen for the back window, he could see through to use his rearview mirror, but no one could see all the valuable antiques he left in that old Hornet between "shows!" During that time his house had a screen that matched views from his own property out in the county, and his car had a picture of his dog, "Poncho," a grouchy little Chihuahua.  

Stained glassAffordable Housing-Ground Rent

Baltimore was laid out in 1729 as a shipping point for tobacco, and later grain products. Shipbuilding, grain mills, and associated mercantile attracted ship builders, carpenters, sea captains, sailors, and craftsmen. Those industries later brought in workers for packing houses, iron and steel works, and factories. Everyone needed housing. The wealthy, the middle class, and the working class all lived in rowhouses.

Some were elegant large homes with fan lighted doorways and elaborate interior details, while others were simple 4 room, two bay wide homes.

A system called ground rent made home ownership affordable. The concept of ground rent (as well as the row house style itself) came from England. When the eldest son of a noble class family inherited his father's land, they could not, by law, sell the property. The estate earned income from tenant farmers. As cities grew larger, land owners realized they could make more money by building and selling homes, but renting the land under the homes.

Today, the arcane system is still in place. Ground rents earned land owners a dependable 6% on their investment. The low annual payments were (and still are) easily affordable for homeowners.

Bowed front row house with columns | Source These simple homes are on a very narrow street, once an alley. | Source
Mini Masions

In 1796, flour merchants Thomas McElderry and Cumberland Dugan built long wharves in the area now known as the Inner Harbor. Row houses built right on the wharves stood 3 1/2 stories and featured hip roofs, dormer windows, and high English basements. The upper stories were residential while the high basement provided commercial space.

Builders and speculators began to erect similar rows of elegant homes with commercial space below and residential space in the upper stories. Many of these homes were quite grand, three bays wide with an entry hall, and two rooms deep with a kitchen wing or back building and pantry.

Up until 1799, nearly half of these buildings were made of wood until brick was stipulated by law. Very few of the old wooden homes survive.

From 1790-1800, the population of Baltimore doubled. Housing was needed for new arrivals in the prosperous shipping town. Houses built for workers and the lower classes rose to 2 1/2 stories and were 2 bays wide without the side hall featured in more upscale housing.

Grand homes were built along main thoroughfares while middle-class homes were built on side streets. The smallest houses were built on alleys with fanciful names like Happy Alley, Strawberry Alley, and Whiskey Alley. These smaller units were 17' wide with basement kitchens. Some 1 1/2 story houses were as small as 10 1/2' to 12' wide.

The smaller houses were often homes for Baltimore's large African American population which included freemen and slaves. At the time, rural slave owners hired out slaves to businessmen. Urban slaves had greater freedom than their rural counterparts as they lived without a master. Frederick Douglas claimed that the density of population prevented the abuse that rural isolation made more possible. Freemen hired out slaves, and white laborers of similar professions and economic station lived on the small integrated blocks or alleys. Simple yet attractive 3 bay wide, 2 story row-houses Double basements

Kitchen Extension in Back
Utilities in Early Dwellings

Fireplaces stood in most rooms of the grander row houses. It was not until the late 18th century that cast iron stoves provided heat. The large heating surface of stoves provided greater warmth than fireplaces. Coal replaced wood as an economical and efficient fuel.

Water came from hand pumps stationed along the streets. Upscale rows featured hand pumps in the back yards, thanks to a new reservoir created in 1807.

Before 1840, indoor plumbing was nonexistent. People used chamber pots. Night soil carters carried off the waste. Foul odors and disease, including typhoid and cholera, were common. In the mid-1800s, piped water became available by subscription, and water closets (a small room with a toilet) flushed into the harbor.

front of backs

Mount Vernon Greek Revival Row Houses

Greek Revival and Neoclassical

After the War of 1812, a new prosperity encouraged a building boom. The city became a manufacturing center and in 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road created new markets for manufacturers. Baltimore became a city of foundries, lumber mills, glass makers, machine works, and by the 1840s, steam engine manufacturers.

Mount Vernon Place was built around the Washington Monument, built to memorialize George Washington. The beautiful monument based on a Greek Doric column design influenced the construction of homes in the area.

Fashionable row houses built around small parks reflected simple, elegant Greek and neoclassical designs.

These beautiful old tiles once lined a row house entryway or vestibule. | Source
Back of fronts

After the plain facades of neoclassical designs, a new interest in ornamentation followed Victorian styles. Rowhouses in the mid-1800s featured elaborate designs including bold projecting cornices, tall narrow windows, and exterior ornamentation.

Romantic sensibilities and new building technologies introduced beautiful new designs. Cast iron structured frames allowed for taller buildings. Decorative cast iron embellishments including columns, capitals, and window treatments could be assembled at a factory and carted to the construction site.

Even smaller ones employed the newer, more fashionable styles with tiled entry halls and vestibules. Average row houses featured stained glass door surrounds and transoms, stamped metal cornices, and tin ceilings in the kitchen. Edward Gallagher built modest versions of the finer Italianate homes in brown or red brick. The flat-roofed homes featured stamped designs on cornices.

Italianate Circa 1875

Center and left of CenterEdward Gallagher built these modest versions of Italianate style homes so that people of average means could afford to live in style. | Source

Queen Ann

Queen Anne style mixed architectural styles of the past and incorporated ideals of the Aesthetic Movement, a concept that rejected the mass production of the Industrial Revolution and Victorian tastes. From 16th and 17th century English styles, builders borrowed cottage style forms including partial stucco, 1/2 timbering along with red brick.

The picturesque Gothic style featured asymmetrical facades and windows, along with natural trim or first-floor facades made of rock.

Belvedere Terrace and Eutaw Place employed the concepts of craftsmanship and an appreciation of nature by using molded brick, colored glass, terra-cotta panels, brownstone trim, and arched windows and doors. Undulating bow fronts and turrets reflected the aesthetics interest in medieval history. 

Large homes offered a back garden that could be seen from a large dining room window.

The mixing of styles - Queen Anne Style
A picturesque look at the varied roof line, windows, and facade of these beautiful homes. | SourceTiles and Grouts
Large porches and second story bow front windows make these row homes very attractive.Source

Renaissance Revival

The Renaissance Revival of the late 19th century saw row houses with flat roof lines and white marble lintels and sills. Iron cornices decorated the roofs with swags of leaves and rosettes. Some swell fronts were interspersed with flat fronts, all with white marble steps from a nearby quarry.

In 1905, open porches were added to the front of the better row homes. As the elite moved out to single homes in suburban areas, builders attempted to offer owners similar options like the large, columned front porch with small front yards. Second story bay windows with swags and decorated cornices made these homes beautiful.

English Cottage Style Grate and RailsSlate roofs and varied building materials including half timbering in a beautifully landscaped setting. | Ednor Gardens all stone row houses with slate roof and sun porch. | Source

Early 20th Century

In the early 20th century, daylight row houses were 2 rooms wide so that all rooms but the bathroom had windows. As the middle and upper classes left the congestion of the city for suburban cottages, a new interest in natural beauty encouraged builders to compete by creating new styles.

English style groups of row houses offered to landscape, wide covered porches, steep slate roofs, Tudor half-timbered stucco second stories, dormers, and varied entryways. Some of the cottage styles offered houses built out of several materials and included stucco, brick, and rock.

Edward Gallagher Jr opened his new development called Ednor Gardens and used rock blasted from the building site in house designs. Picturesque roof lines, sun porches, and varied windows gave each home an individual look. During the housing boom of the 1920s, Gallagher and his sons offered homes with built-in garages.

Unlike row house developments of the past, corner houses no longer featured commercial space for a store or bar. New zoning regulations and development covenants ruled against commerce, additions, or changes made to outdoor trim color. Some covenants had racial restrictions in the deeds.

The Great Depression of the 1930s created a decline in-home sales. Real estate values and housing development plummeted.

By the early 1940s, World War II brought new jobs to large Baltimore employers like Bethlehem Steel and Glenn L. Martin. A new American neoclassical style based on colonial Williamsburg offered simple, inexpensive home designs with bay windows and wide end units.

After World War II, the housing demand and the GI Bill's home loan program encouraged large-scale row house building in the suburbs in places like Loch Raven Village and Edmonson Avenue.

The middle class moved to single homes outside the city while inner city high-rise housing projects crowded low-income people into large prison-like structures that warehoused the poor. A declining industrial base caused large-scale job loss for the working class in Baltimore.

Baltimore Rowhouse in Ednor Gardens

Ed Gallager

Late 20th Century Re-Hab

As Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods deteriorated due to age, overcrowding, and absentee landlords who neglected their properties, large areas of the city became derelict. The oldest neighborhoods, like the 120-170-year-old row houses in Federal Hill and Fells Point, became slums. By the late 1960s, some of the oldest houses near the waterfront were condemned in order to provide space for an extension to I-95. But a visionary group of preservationists petitioned the government for historical status and, in 1967, had Federal Hill and Fells Point listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It took 10 years to dissuade the government to move the path of the highway, but the movement drew attention to the historic Baltimore water-front and sparked an urban renaissance for older city row homes.

Mayor William Donald Shaefer and Housing Commissioner Robert C. Embry offered up 5,000 abandoned houses for $1.00 a piece. A city development office offered technical and financial help with a city backed loan program for the restoration of older homes.

Today, many of Baltimore's historic row house neighborhoods have become enclaves of young professionals. Real estate values in areas close to the water escalated and have remained high, even during the recent economic downturn. Other row house neighborhoods around the city remain affordable, comfortable, and efficient choices in a variety of communities.

Parker Edwards

Bob Bows

Edner Gardenfront of backsMini MasionsParker EdwardsPaul ManningSam SladeStained glassUncle Leo

© 2012 Dolores Monet

Vehicles Diecast

Baltimore City Police Die-cast Vehicles

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Over the years The Baltimore Police Department has had many cars, from many makers, in many styles, with many color schemes, and many decal designs. It would be not only impossible to own each of these cars, but it would also be impossible to gather, and maintain them even in something as simple as a photo collection it is hard to gather and maintain these vehicles. Still over the years men and women of the Baltimore City Police Department and other various departments began collecting a different kind of car from their departments, this thirst for ownership extended beyond the Cars, to the Wagons, and then into the Trailers, the Trucks, Helicopters etc. This page is made up of Vehicles my collection, some bought by me, some bought for me, and some that just somehow magically arrived on my doorstep, with a note attached that simply said, “Thanks, keep doing what you're doing” and so I am going to share this collection, in hopes that others will send their cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, etc. in picture form of course. Pictures of their Baltimore Police Cars, Trucks, Trailers, Boats… whatever you may have. Send an email with a clear, sharp JPG, PNG etc. of your car(s) - individually shot from any, or all angles, and as much info as you have on that vehicle. I will include your name with your collection and give you full credit. You an send one car, or an entire collection. Collectors, builders, sellers etc. We want any and all mini BPD police car pics. Dealer's collections will be shown here, and we'll put up a page for them t sell from that links to here... I have a large collection, not as large as most people have, but for an old man that don't play with toys too much it is a lot.. (OK I play with them... anyway, I still have to shoot pics of them, and so do; So let's get it right, we want our cars looking good, let's go into a room that has good light, and let's use a camera, not a phone... watch our back-gounds, shoot as big as we can, we here at the sight will resize it to fit the site, yet still maintain a sharp, crisp pic with good color and detail.


1 BPD 1950 Chevy Solido 21 BPD AID 50 Stud Yat Ming 21 BPD AID 64 Merc Yat Ming1 BPD Traff Enf Mustang 21 eBay pt 2 Oct 2009 0281 eBay pt 2 Oct 2009 0281 IMG 49991 IMG 50021 IMG 50041 IMG 50051 Web site Feb 2013 10 cars 01028829 392350883642 4194110 n28829 392356093642 2687753 n323083 10150460974313643 1723918880 o334983 10150460965293643 143700333 o1560641 765346846891083 7117023963021953346 n1780639 10152239818868643 423205183 n1798419 10152239812358643 255243434 n1975248 10152239814463643 1178097256 n10013832 10152244371693643 1899114044 n10655246 10152889927053643 9029093896987522043 o10679805 10152889927498643 6604584592200658540 oBarry Wood Fox

fox trot

Made by and provided courtesy of Jim Derreth
HERE on on the above pic to visit Jim Derreth


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 More to Come DSC3203

Click HERE on on the above pic to visit Jim Derreth


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If you have copies of: your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

Service Ribbon

Baltimore City Police Historic Society's

Service Ribbon 

Service ribbon front and backF 72Baltimore Police Historical Society's BPD Service Ribbon

If we look around at various vets, we'll notice many of them wear some sort of Combat Ribbon patch, These patches tell us what campaigns they were involved in, and while it is a nice way for us to know where they served and give them a quick thanks for their service, it is more important for them to be able to look out and see a brother or sister that served in the same campaign or campaigns that they did. A few years ago and over the last few years, we had conversations with various members of the Baltimore Police Historic Society and designed our own Baltimore Police Service Ribbon. Our hope is that our retired and active will wear a patch on a ball cap, stick a decal on their rear car window, so when we see one of our brothers or sisters, we'll know of the service they gave and the sacrifices they and others have made. Service of any length past probation, as long as they are either in good standing with the department, or left/retired in good standing. 

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service ribbon mock up back of card with outline1 black devider 800 8 72Meanings of The Design in Our BPD Service Ribbon

1a awards grey

Under the muted gray, we can see where we are going. There will be nine vertical stripes in four different colors, each having a symbolic meaning:

1b awards orange

We'll start with the four "orange" stripes because our agency originally started with just four districts. Also, orange goes back in our history for everything from the Calverts to our first commendation ribbons. We initially started using orange due to an error with the printer. The order was written up calling for "Or" and "Sable." The printer, thinking "Or" was an abbreviation for "orange," used orange, but "Or" is a "golden-yellow" color that is found in the Calvert family quarters of the Maryland flag. "Sable" is "Black," also found in the Calvert quarter of the Maryland flag.   

1c awards black

The "black" stripe is in memory of our fallen officers. Not all of our fallen officers were recognized over the years, and we are still finding officers who died while working, from work-related injuries, or from illnesses that were not added to the list of Baltimore's known fallen officers. I think the department recognizes somewhere around 140 or so. We found more than 200 fallen Baltimore City officers and have them all listed on this site.

They can be found HERE

1d awards red

The "Red" stripes are to remind us of our injured and disabled. We have some of our injured listed on the site HERE, but they are not sent to us by the department; the only way we can list them is if the injured officer, their family, friends, etc. send us their information. The majority of the information on this website came from Bill Hackley's previous website, along with some names that P/O Bobby Brown sent to us and, as previously mentioned, additional names that family members, friends, and some former partners of our injured officers sent to us. If you would like to be added or know someone who should be added, send their name and as much information as you can gather to Kenny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

1e awards blue

The "Blue" stripes on the ends represent loyalty and are for the men, and women who wear or have worn the uniform of a Baltimore City Police Officer. Also, the "Blue" is on the ends to show that our officers are what hold it all together.  

1f awards full color

Putting it all together, we have a unique Baltimore City Police Service Ribbon that will not only let us know when we are seeing another of our brother or Sister officers, but will also serve as a reminder of our Department's History, our Service, our Injured, and our Fallen. 

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Military Campaign Ribbons - Military Campaign Ribbon were first instituted and presented to recognize general military service in war, in contrast to meritorious decorations, which were only issued on a small scale for acts of heroism and bravery. The campaign ribbons were issued first by the British military with the medal awarded for the defeat of the Invincible Armada, with the 1815 Waterloo Medal being the first awarded to all men present and the 1847 Military General Service Medal being the first "modern" campaign medal.

Baltimore City Police Historic Society', Service Ribbon - Our BPD Police Service Ribbon is an award provided for individuals who took an oath to serve and protect the citizens of the City of Baltimore while sworn as a Baltimore Police Officer. To be eligible, one would have to have completed their service in any length past probation, as long as they are either in good standing with the department, or left/retired in good standing.  If any of our Officers were forced to leave early, it would have had to be for good cause.  

NOTE - As long as any early departure from our agency was NOT due to a termination, or any reason that would tarnish the reputation of our agency, our officers, badge or uniform,. As we all know, our badge means so much to many, therefore, in cases of early departure, and the eligibility to display this ribbon will be considered on a case-by-case basis. But to be clear, as long as an officer was not forced to leave, charged with a crime, they are and should be not just eligible but able to wear this with pride. Leaving for a different agency, for family or just moving on is fine, so long as your service was respectful and leaving was on good terms. 

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Background - While out and about, I am sure we have all seen members of our armed forces proudly displaying some sort of service, or campaign ribbons on their cap, or jacket via a patch, or on their vehicle by way of decal/sticker. These representations of their Service Ribbon are a way of letting other military personnel, active or retired, know what campaigns, and battles the person displaying them had been involved in, or served in. In this age of police haters, a thin blue line is not enough, we should have more. So The Baltimore Police Historic Society started not only working on making such a ribbon for our police, a ribbon that will not only let our brothers and sisters know we served but it also serves as a way for our fallen and injured to continue on in our memories, making sure that will never be forgotten.

Meaning - In order for any ribbon to have true meaning, it should have some kind of symbolism within the ribbon. Our Baltimore Police Historic Society's Service Ribbon was designed with that in mind. It was m
ade up of a standard-size commendatory ribbon with nine vertical stripes. The nine  stripes were added, one for each of the nine districts in place at the time of its creation. The four orange stripes are representative of our first four districts, the color used is orange and is there to represent the Calvert Family's Coat of Arms. On each end of the ribbon, we've added a vertical blue stripe. Blue stands for unity, and represents all of our police, past and present; being on the ends of the ribbon shows how our police have stood their ground, holding everything together. The two red stripes signify those members of our agency that have been seriously injured on the job, and then we have a single black stripe which has been placed prominently down the center of the ribbon, it is wider than any of the other stripes and made to have us all see it with hopes of either automatically thinking of and remembering our fallen, or asking questions about our fallen, Either way, it will aid in keeping our fallen brothers and sisters alive in our memories.

Like the Vietnam Service Ribbons and other Campaign Ribbons issued to our service members, the Baltimore Police Historic Society's Ribbons will honor all who have taken the oath of our agency, those that have displayed our patch on their shoulders, pinned on our badge, and patrolled our streets while looking for anyone that might be put with intentions of violating the rights of the citizens that live in the city of Baltimore
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Over the past 20 years, I have seen nothing but pride and honor from our retired and active police for the service they have provided or still are providing to our city. So, we at the Baltimore City Police Historical Society put our heads together and designed our own Baltimore Police Service Ribbon. Our ribbon will be put on baseball caps, decals, patches, t-shirts and other items such as buttons, mugs, pens, challenge coins etc. with a goal of allowing us to show our pride. Now more than ever we need to show our pride, and hold our heads up in a way that will allow us to know who we are and what we have done. We made these very subtle. Even the patch, while it clearly says “SERVED WITH HONOR” “BALTIMORE CITY POLICE” the average person not seeing a Police Shoulder Patch, or Police Badge will look right past this. Still our active, and retired will know who we are, and the pride we earned will be shown to those who it matters most.

The design seen above has meaning. we will, and have gone over the meaning of every line, and color on the ribbon. Therefore, if you served on the Baltimore Police Force and left in good standing, you earned the right to wear the Baltimore Police Service Ribbon. Like other Service/Campaign Ribbons worn by members of the armed forces that did their service in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Baltimore Police Officers have not only earned a right to display such a ribbon, but they should wear it, and wear it with both pride and honor. In short, it has 9 sections for the 9 districts, 4 are Orange for the initial 4 districts we started out with, there are 2 Red for our inquired, 1 Black for our fallen, and the 2 Blue on the ends are for all of our police that hold everything together. 

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Ironing Instruction

Set Iron, or heat press to 350 degrees, align your patch on the hat, jacket or shirt, heat transfer tape would be best to hold the patch in place while ironing/pressing. With Iron/press heated to 350 degrees, press for 30 seconds. Once the iron/press is removed from your hat, jacket or shirt, wait a few seconds, we normally wait 10 or more seconds to allow the patch to cool down some, so it doesn't shift while moving it. 

Note you might find, "Heat Transfer Tape" listed as any of the following on Amazon... Heat Tape, Heat Resistant Tape, Heat Transfer Tape, Thermal Tape, Sublimation Tape, Heat Vinyl Press Tape, No Residue, or High Temperature Tape. It's about $4.00 a roll, but can be used on most patches, as long as the patch has an iron backing. We normally have all of our patches made with the iron backings, as that backing also helps to preserve the patch due to the thick rubber like backing.

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For now we have access to decals that are 4" x 1.9" that we thought would be just a little larger than a 2x4 as we look at it from the end. But like a 2x4 its more like 3.5" by 1.25" We'll eventually have patches made, and maybe even an actual ribbon for use in a shadow box with all of the other ribbons we've earned over the years.

Decals are $3.00 Each with No Shipping Costs They are basically a fundraiser to help keep the site going, research paid for Servers, domain names etc. We are not looking to turn a profit from the site, truth be told, making money is more of a headache than it is worth, so every penny that comes through any of this goes toward paying in advance for servers, domain names and Newspaper Archives. We have been approached several times by those saying they could help us bring in the kind of funds that would even be enough to put together a salary for those running the site, Ken has turned that down every time, The nightmares of filing taxes is more than he wants to deal with considering this is only his hobby, something he doesn't want to turn into a job. So if anyone is interested in helping pay for the servers (we use two, one for the site, and one for the extra large pic files mainly newspaper articles, large enough to read) but if you want to contribute, send a donation, or buy a decal, patch or anything else you might like.

NOTE: We are also having decals made of the most common ribbons, the Commendation Ribbon, Distinguished Service, Life Saving Award, Bronze Star, Silver Star, Medal of Honor, Citation of Valor, Unit Citation, 1968 Riot Ribbon, and Safe Driving Awards. These will look nice in a shadow box, or on the back window of our cars. Again, most people won't know what they mean, but when we look on if nothing else, we'll know it is one of our Brother, or Sister officers.  



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Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 


In September of 1931, two years before Radio Car Communications would go into effect Commissioner Gaither would approach the Board of Estimates with this idea, here's a Sun paper Article talking about the plans. On 4 May 1933 Our Radio Communication was established, it was the first radio communications system between Patrol Vehicles and a Central Dispatcher 

Crime Lab

1948 - The Baltimore Police Department’s Crime Laboratory began. It was built in a small room that was allocated for a crime laboratory as a part of the Detective Division, where then Sgt. Anthony F. Nelligan initiated the laundry and dry cleaning marks identification section, which he expanded to include handwriting and documents examination. He was joined by Sgt. Joseph Reitz who performed firearms examinations.

Crisis Negotiations

The history of the Baltimore Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT), formerly known as the Hostage Negotiation Team, is forged by the members of this unique unit, past, and present. Their exemplary intelligence, common sense, skill, ability and courage in addressing one of the most challenging and stressful incidents that a law enforcement officer could encounter – negotiating for someone’s life - cannot be truly measured. Their loyalty to the Department and dedication to the citizens of Baltimore is woven into the fabric of hundreds of lives saved by the members of this Team - again, past and present. Former Team members who contributed to this document are Mark Lindsay, Sharon Marr, Frank Wagner, Michael Cassizzi, Richard Puller, Ronald Roof, Jose Rosado, and Samuel D. Tress.


The Homicide Unit in our department is one of the most prestigious and well-known of the units, right up there with K-9 and the Aviation Unit. You will see our BPD Homicide personnel in action from the past up to the present and see how they have solved some of the worst crimes men can commit. Our own guys who have been able to bring closure to grieving families that have lost a family member

Bernie Wehage

Sergeant Bernie Wehage completed his service with the Baltimore police department, during which time e took photos, and saved documents that he knew would someday be important to our agencies historical records. For his dedication to service, and preservation of our department's fine history we are making one of this years, Baltimore City Police History Website Officer of the Year.

Recall Lights

Every story has a beginning, so let's go back to January 1918, when John Martin Superintendent of Baltimore's Telephone and Signal Division first obtained his position as a Lineman with the Baltimore Police Department. At that time there was a Lieutenant and a Sergeant acting as the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of the Telephone and Signal Division, five linemen. They used one truck and two touring cars for construction and maintenance of the entire system.