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Arthur J. Olmstead photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0133


This collection contains photographs of early 20th century food industries in Baltimore City, including scenes of workers processing and canning oysters, spinach, and olive oil, among others. The dates of the collection span 1914-1915.


  • 1914-1915


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

According to the 1914 publication Industrial Survey of Baltimore, the Baltimore food packing industries were growing rapidly in the few years just prior, doubling the value of the industries' output and causing proportionate increase in number of employees. The R. E. Robert Company, Inc., located at the foot of Fell Street, processed and packed oysters. The industrial survey states that in 1914 there was only one concern in town engaged in clarifying and packing olive oil, which may have been the Pompeian Olive Oil Company, although the company is not found in the Baltimore Directory at that time. The survey also refers to the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906, which may account for the presence of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Pure Food Inspector at these businesses in 1914-1915.


0.07 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



The photographs are arranged in four folders according to PP catalog number.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Harry H. Olmstead, 1981.

Scope and Contents

The collection is housed in one box with four folders containing 15 photographic prints dated 1914-1915. The photographs show early 20th century food industries in Baltimore City. There are scenes of workers processing and canning oysters at the R. E. Roberts Company, workers processing spinach, and storage apparatus in the Pompeian Olive Oil Company album with workers dispensing oil into containers. At several of these sites, inspections are underway by United States Department of Agriculture Pure Food Inspector John F. Earnshaw. All photographs are captioned "U.S.D.A. photo by A. J. Olmstead" and dated; some have subject identification.

Guide to the Arthur J. Olmstead photograph collection
Under Revision
Katherine Cowan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 02-02-2020: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States