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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Waterfront Property: 1935

Waterfront Property: 1935

September 1935. A closeup of the Washington, D.C., row house seen here over the weekend. "Front of old brick structure in section near Union Station. Land is low here and water collects in front and backyard after a rain and remains for many days. Entrances to privies are usually under water. Interior of homes similar in shabbiness to exterior." 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Well Disciplined

My kids would have been wet already.


This part of town historically was called Swampoodle and got that name because of the large puddles that would form after rains. A tributary of Tiber Creek flowed south through here to meet up with the city canal, and it was very prone to flooding.

Indoor Pool too?

Surely the four children on the left are sitting on a cellar door? And if the yard is as poorly drained as this, that cellar is doubtless more or less flooded much of the time. The interior of the entire house must be moldy and damp in the hot, humid environment of the District's summer.

The caption implies no indoor plumbing -- I wonder if they have central heat? We tend to forget what a hard life people lived even a realtively short time ago.

Definition of Temptation

Four lively kids trying to be good, but there is nothing to play with. Although the boys look determined to stay clean and dry, I believe the little girl has already decided to go ahead and succumb to her inspired plans and will get the ball rolling, as she is already on her way.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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