There are no other photos in the collection that relate to this one (that we know of).
There are 15 masked individuals and three unmasked individuals.
The masks are folded in the middle around the nose and have a pattern around the edges, similar to a napkin.
The African American man on the platform seems calm (for someone in a mysterious situation), is wearing a visible wedding ring, and has a pin on his coat.
There is a newspaper on the table with a note across is which I thought said “Lot 001” but it’s difficult to tell.
This is definitely ca. 1900-1920 as the original format is glass negative and this is definitely after the invention of electricity.
Just because the photo was labeled “detective room” does not mean that this is absolute truth. Often times people will write a description several years after the photo made it’s way to MdHS. It may not have been The Hughes Company who wrote this description.
The Hughes Company was a commercial photography company in Baltimore from the late 1800s until the 1970s. They mostly photographed construction, buildings, events, professionals, etc. in the Baltimore area.
This is too early in Baltimore history to be the first African American police officer. The first African American to join the police department was Violet Hill Whyte in 1937.
There’s been lots of talk recently about Baltimore’s early involvement with the Civil Rights Movement and its lack of historical coverage. I need to revisit this film and see if there are any other copies out there in better condition. AND then find funding for photochemical preservation. :)