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William C. Steuart photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0075


This collection contains over 600 images of sail and steam ships and scenes of the Baltimore waterfront, as well as related ephemera.


  • 1847-1960


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

William Calvert Steuart (1883-1977) began his career at age 17, as an apprentice draftsman for Detrick and Hervey, a metal-working machinery firm. He worked for Consolidated Gas and Electric Company (later Baltimore Gas and Electric) from 1926 until retirement in 1948.

Steuart was well known in Maryland for his hobby of building ship models. He spent much of his childhood on the Baltimore waterfront, where explored ships docked there and interacted with the watermen who made their living on the water. He studied the ships, particularly the sail ships, meticulously. He began building his ship models in during his late 30’s. His models were extremely precise replicas, which were built without using any prefabricated parts. In 1962, he gave his large collection of model ships to the Maryland Historical Society. He also took hundreds of photographs of ships that passed through the Baltimore Harbor


1.42 Linear Feet (1 full Hollinger box; 2 small boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in eight series by topic: Ships, Cargo, Shipyards and Ship Construction and Repair, Ship Parts, Scenes, Planes, Advertisements, Planes, and Ephemera. These are categorized further in to subseries by medium: 4”x5” and Smaller Negatives, Glass Negatives, 5”x8” and Larger Negatives, Photographic Prints, and Hand-Colored Photographs. Items within each subseries where then organized alphabetically. Ships are identified by name, type, and owner when possible.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William C. Steuart, 1970.

Related Materials

MS 1809, William Calvert Steuart papers, 1930-1962

Scope and Contents

The William C. Steuart Photograph collection contains over 600 images of sail and steam ships and scenes of the Baltimore waterfront, as well as related ephemera. A majority of the ships photographed were Baltimore-built or operated out the city from the Pratt and Light Street wharves. Many images of the ships that ran on Baltimore’s steam lines are included in the collection. Dock scenes of boats and workers loading and unloading cargo and ship construction and repair are other major themes of Steuart’s photography. A significant amount of maritime-related ephemera is also a part of the collection.

Guide to the William C. Steuart photograph collection
Under Revision
Lara Westwood
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-24: 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