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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

H Street Market: 1920

H Street Market: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "The New H Street 620 Market." Another glimpse of a long-vanished item of urban street furniture, the bakery delivery box. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The Bread Box

Alex, as a former wholesale baker, I can tell you how the bread box worked.

The store had an account for a set number of loves a day, but the bread was baked at night and delivered at dawn before the store opened. The delivery driver and the grocer both had a key to box. It was a safe place to leave the bread so it wouldn't be stolen before the store opened.

The grocer would get the bread from the box and sell it in his store.

Wholesale bakeries in large cities still work like this. At my NYC bakery, our baguettes would be delivered at dawn and, if there was no one to receive the bread, it would be left outside of restaurants until the opening staff retrieved it. If you wander Manhattan around 5:30 AM you will see bags of fresh bread on the sidewalk outside of many nice restaurants! It's a system that works better than you think it might, and we didn't use the old boxes because no one can keep track of thousands of keys if you have thousands of accounts.

PS- I'm working on opening a small green grocery now, I love this picture!

Bakery delivery box

Can anyone tell us, foreigners, how the bakery delivery box worked?
Was it used to deliver the fresh bread to the customers? They could take out and pay later, or how?

Thanks Jess, for the answer!

Old-time DC bakeries

More about the history of both the Corby and Bond bakeries, which were located on either side of Georgia Avenue near Howard University, can be found here.

Corby's Florida connection

Brothers Charles and William Corby built and grew their bakery into the largest in Washington D.C. in 1920. They were ahead of other bread bakers with automation and were able to deliver 90,000 loaves per day.

Charles died at a polo match in Florida in 1926 and his son also died in Forida in 1937 while vacationing from the bread business. Both had heart disease. Charles was 55 and his son was 44 when they died.

A hard way to live & maybe an easy way to die.

This could almost be my Grandad's Grocery on Singleton St @ LeGrande Ave. Indianapolis, Ind. 1924. He was shot down during a holdup in 1925. It was a hard way to make a living, and for an unlucky few, an easy way to die. But for 30 years it provided a family of 4 with a warm home & a fine upbringing for my dad & his sister. Sometimes it is dificult for us to see past the black & white of the photograph, but the ghosts are all there with their own stories to tell, to those of us who can hear them!

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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