A Merry German Christmas in Baltimore

Today’s post is written by Elliott Wrenn, Student Assistant for the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project and MLS candidate in UMD’s College of Information Studies. Thanks to Jill Fosse for providing the translations in this blog post. Enjoy!

Image of Santa Claus with text "Wish you all A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year" from Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 24, 1900.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 24, 1900

With the holidays upon us, we at the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project cannot help but post a few images of what Baltimore residents saw in Der Deutsche Correspondent during the holidays. The images primarily come from paid advertisements posted in the paper.  As ads can play a significant role in shaping and reflecting material and visual culture of the time, the news daily allows us to look at daily life as a turn-of-the-century Baltimorean saw it.

November and December issues are filled with ads for the holidays.  These include advertisements for a Thanksgiving Grokes Austern-Souper (oyster supper); week-long train getaways for Weihnachten-Neujahr [Christmas-New Year]; Christmas stocks of “fresh raisins, currants, citron,” books and games for children; and Christmas showpieces at the Ford’s Grand Opera House in Baltimore.

Santa Claus is prominent throughout December editions in the 1880s and 1890s, appearing in countless Christmas stories, poems, and ads for children’s toys and men’s clothing.

Image of Santa and children in a sleigh pulled by horse from Der Sonntags-Correspondent, December 15, 1894.

Der Sonntags-Correspondent, December 15, 1894

Image of Santa filling a stocking with toys in front of a fireplace from Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 15, 1896.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 15, 1896

In one image a store advertises its in-store holiday musical performances, decorative displays, ice palace, and post bureau for Santa Claus; in another Santa Claus himself fits a man for an overcoat.

Advertisement featuring Santa Claus from Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 19, 1896.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 19, 1896

An image of Santa trying to fit down a chimney with an overflowing bag of toys from an adverstisement in Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 18, 1897.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 18, 1897

Santa fits a man for an overcoat in an advertisement from Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 19, 1896.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 19, 1896

If the fact that Der Deutsche Correspondent was published in German wasn’t enough to link a portion of Baltimore immigrants to the old country, Der Deutsche Correspondent advertised its forwarding service for Christmas remittances to Germany. The ad reads:

Advertisement in German for remittances to Germany.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 10, 1896

Remittances to Germany.

Remittances to Germany that are intended for Christmas should be sent very soon, so that they arrive in good time. If they get there earlier, they aren’t any less welcome, but if they arrive late, they lose a lot of their value as Christmas presents. The forwarding service of the “Correspondent” is the most punctual and cheapest way of getting payments of small and large sums to Germany. Address your request to: E. Raine, Baltimore, MD.

 
Der Deutsche Correspondent consistently printed a yearly calendar and inserted it into an issue either at the end of the year or very beginning of the year. On one calendar the paper proudly advertises its founding in 1841 and displays the building built by George A. Frederick on the corner of East Baltimore Street and Postoffice Avenue (now Custom House Alley) where the paper was drafted and printed. The building later was burnt down in the 1904 fire that consumed large portions of downtown Baltimore at the time. (Look for a detailed post on the Baltimore fire of 1904 in the months ahead.)

Calendar for 1897 printed in Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 29, 1896.

Der Deutsche Correspondent, December 29, 1896

Calendar for 1898 printed in Der Sonntags-Correspondent, December 24, 1897.

Der Sonntags-Correspondent, December 24, 1897


 
Happy Holidays from the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project! See you in the new year!

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