Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

A Brief History of Baltimore Street Names

Illustration for article titled A Brief History of Baltimore Street Names

Driving through downtown Baltimore we came upon this street sign. It turns out that there is an interesting story behind this:

Alphonse Paca was a tailor in Italy in the 1870s whose brother had emigrated to Baltimore some years before. After settling in to the Little Italy neighborhood of this Maryland city Alphonse's brother noticed there was a lack of good tailors in the area and wrote to Alphonse encouraging him to join him in the New World where Carlo would help him to open a shop and start his life in America. After some thought Alphonse took his brother up on the offer, packed his tools and his sewing machine and moved to Baltimore.


In time Alphonse's business grew and he found it necessary to hire a few of the local Italian immigrant women to help him stay on top of the orders that continued to come in. As they produced more and more suits the Paca name spread and became synonymous with fine clothing across the Mid-Atlantic region. Time and time again, Alphonse found it necessary to expand his operations to keep up with demands until he finally found himself the director of a huge factory, his workers cranking out dozens of suits every day in the harsh sweatshop conditions typical of Victorian-era industry.

And so, in time, the women working at the factory came to be known as "Al Paca Sweaters."

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