So while I don't feel I had enough time there I had fun in the mix of historical content and amusing quirky inclusions and occasional pieces of simple kitsch, and I think the latest-dated band or album I found was from about 1986. I ended up tossed to the gift shop which was, of course, open later. There turn out to be entertaining novelty rock-and-roll items available for sale, such as signed (cancelled) checks from Ringo Starr which shows we had to have been there before October, or an official (somehow) Greg Allman slingshot. Some of these were getting old, too: I don't know when official Michael Jackson Chocolate was still being made, but the supposedly collectible candy bars were selling at $45 per. (Premius Swiss semi-sweet chocolate, for the record; I saw the bars only in milk chocolate and in extra-black chocolate variants.)
I did feel like I ought to pick up something, although there wasn't a lot to appeal to me, really. I don't tend to buy T-shirts that have any sort of specific patterns on them, and I didn't need shotglasses or something like that. A music CD seemed like a natural choice, although I wasn't having much luck finding anything that I wanted and didn't have. Somehow, the gift shop did have the soundtracks to Royal Wedding, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, which are not traditionally regarded as particularly rocking sounds. I bought a Top Hits album for the year of my father's birth and gave it to him, at which he smiled. To the best of my knowledge he has not yet taken it out of its wrapper, or for that matter the gift shop bag.
It turns out the gift shop is an FYE outlet, so I had a discount membership card, but I didn't know that until I left and read over my receipt. Well, I can eat the cost of ten percent of a $6.95 charge.
Trivia: By December 1830 a passenger could travel 61 miles west of Baltimore by railroad. The first stretch of Baltimore & Ohio railroad had opened earlier that year. Source: 1831: Year of Eclipse, Louis P Masur.
Currently Reading: A Short History Of British Expansion, Volume 1, James A Williamson. Short here being relative. From the page count it looked like only 300 pages, which implies a swift coverage of things, but that's because I didn't notice the part about it being Two Volumes In One, explaining why I was getting through so slight a fraction despite progress in page counts.