How to define Baltimore? Happy eclecticism, we say. The sweep of our history and culture runs the gamut, from staunch patriotism to lowbrow cinema, from religious iconography to strip-show kitsch. Citizens here are equally proud of the birthplace of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the home of John Waters. Taking a page from the British Museum's A History of the World in 100 Objects, we tried to capture the region's myriad personalities with 50 objects that tell the story of Baltimore and its environs. They range in age from millions of years to just a few months, in size from a ballpoint pen to a crane large enough to lift a ship out of the water. Most can be found within the confines of the city; others, because being a Baltimorean means being a Marylander as well, are scattered throughout the region, from Ocean City to Sharpsburg. But all are key components of what makes living in these parts special. -- Chris Kaltenbach • YOUR TURN: Picking 50 objects barely scratches the surface. So forgive this list its shortcomings and nominate some of your own entries.
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