By Olivia Millunzi, Heritage Frederick
This undated photograph of a picnic shelter at Gambrill State Park is actually a picture postcard by artist David B. Traub. Traub was born in Baltimore and according to an obituary in The Baltimore Sun, he received his first camera, a 35mm Argus, for his bar mitzvah, and a shutterbug was born. After returning from serving in the Army, Traub noticed that postcards being sold in local shops were outdated and generic. He began photographing Baltimore sites in the 1950s, eventually expanding his inventory to sights across Maryland.
Traub initially worked out of his house’s garage, then placed stands in local drug-stores and bus stations, adding local souvenirs. In a 1993 interview with The Baltimore Sun, Traub credited the international fleet of historic tall ships visiting the port in July 1976 as the moment people realized the city could be a tourist destination, and his business began to boom. Traub’s son Sidney said his father’s favorite cards were images of historic locations, like Baltimore’s Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place, as well as photographs of every train in the B&O Railroad Museum.
Though based in Baltimore, Traub was well-known in this part of Maryland as well, personally driving to gas stations in Frederick and Hagerstown to restock his postcards. In the 1993 newspaper story, Traub was described as a “one-man promotional agency” for the city “who never got much recognition.” He passed away in 2013 at age 91.