From the 1888 Health Commissioner: I may be permitted complacently to add, that there has not occurred more than five cases of small-pox in the City of Baltimore during the past five years (all imported), and not more than two deaths. This is due to vaccination, carefully and persistently practiced by the excellent corps of Vaccine Physicians, added to the watchfulness and diligence of our able Quarantine Physician. Too much cannot be said to the people on this subject, and all should be convinced of the absolutely protective power of perfectly successful vaccination against small-pox. Those who arrogantly set themselves up as anti-vaccinationists should be regarded in every community as public enemies, and treated accordingly. Notwithstanding the good results of our past years’ experience, there are many defects in the sanitary condition of our City, that it is our bounden duty to correct at the earliest possible period of time. Prominent among these is the improvement of our storm-water sewers, most of which are defective in every particular. Constructed in bad form of improper materials, with insufficient and irregular grades, and for the most part un-trapped. Hundreds of damp or wet cellars contribute to the causes of sickness and deaths, which could be prevented by a system of drains, if the system of sewers were such as to render it possible or practicable. I trust the City Council will not delay in this important work. The disposal of the offal of our large cities is a problem of great importance as well as most perplexing difficulty. Cremation has been urged and adopted in several places, but as yet has not proved entirely satisfactory, either from a sanitary or economic point of view. The subject is still undergoing experimental investigation at Buffalo, New York and Chicago, and we shall await the result before recommending any plan for the improvement of our present system of disposal of garbage, street dirt and night soil. I would be failing in my duty if I did not again appeal to your Honorable Body in behalf of those who have so often and so sorely felt the need of a Morgue. In the name of the afflicted friends of the unknown dead, in the name of our efficient and zealous police force, and in the name of every reflecting citizen of Baltimore, I urge that this long felt want shall no longer be neglected and laid aside as a matter for future consideration. A city of five hundred thousand people cannot afford to be without a Morgue any more than she can to be without electric lights.
Undated photo showing the morgue, which was connected to the Eastern Avenue Sewage Pumping Station