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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Corn Paint: 1920

Corn Paint: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "People's Drug Store, 7th and M." Your head­quarters for Bed Bug Killer, Corn Paint ("for Hard and Soft") and the ever-popular Rubber Goods. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


PDS aka Permethrin or Pretty Damn Sure

Susceptible pests - Permethrin is effective in the control of several insect vectors of disease, ticks, ants, mosquitoes, lice,fleas, black flies, tsetse fly, domestic flies and other pests,which contaminate food and water sources.

[Permethrin was first synthesized in 1973 and marketed in 1977. - tterrace]

I seem to remember this was

People's Drug Store No. 4. Seriously, why was the store's number so prominent?

Ghost lady

There is a ghost lady just finishing her lime ricky, right behind the door.

Two words:

Edward Hopper!


"Rubber Goods" is a euphemism for contraceptives; they could not be more explicit in their description.

[At the time in the retail drug store trade, "rubber goods" referred to hot water bottles, syringes, enema equipment, rubber gloves and other DIY health-care items. - tterrace]

Night Vision

I think I once commented before that these People's Drug Stores look better at night. Their successors, CVS, Rite-Aid etc, now tend to leave their lights on inside the stores because they are, in many cases, open 24/7, at least in NYC. They however, do not dress the windows, they are covered with paper signs.

Rubber goods!

I always get my rubber goods at the drug store. Hot water bottles should always be purchased at reputable establishments.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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