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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fireproof Garage: 1920

Fireproof Garage: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Federal Auto Supply front, Penna. Ave. N.W." Fireproof, but not mold-proof. These Pennsylvania Avenue addresses (seen here in an earlier post) are long gone, but the Tschiffely Pharmacy lives on at three other locations. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Josephus Wells

Given the presence of the awning at Federal Auto, as well as the prices at Ford Lunch, I would venture that the 'circa 1926' photo was taken sometime before this 'circa 1920' photo.

Question: What do you do when your wife show's up and your place of business and gets into a screaming match with your mistress? Apparently, if it is 1925, you can call the police and have your wife thrown into a mental hospital for a few weeks.

Washington Post, October 15, 1916.


Josephus Wells bought premises 477 Pennsylvania avenue from the estate of Dr. Daniel B. Clarke. The price is not made public.

Washington Post, May 6, 1917.

Building Permits

J. Wells, owner: to remodel store and garage, 477 Pennsylvania avenue; cost, $3,650.

Washington Post, February 18, 1925.

Court Frees Wife Held for Observation

Chief Justice Walter I. McCoy in criminal court No. 1 yesterday ordered the final release of Mrs. Dorothy Wells, wife of Joseph Wells, an automobile supply dealer, who sued out a writ of habeas corpus and charged that she was being unlawfully detained on complaint of her husband.

Mrs. Wells was taken into custody last month after a visit to her husband's place of business and following an argument between her and a woman employed by the husband she was sent to Gallinger hospital for mental observation. Through Attorney Bertrand Emerson, jr., Mrs. Wells contended that she was of sound mind.

Washington Post, April 1, 1927.

Auto Man Cleared of Wife's Charges

Josephus Wells, manager of the Federal Auto Supply Co., 477 Pennsylvania avenue northwest, whose wife, Mrs. Dorta Wells, sued him for a limited divorce, charged him with cruelty and accused him of paying too much attention to a woman employed at the store, was exonerated of both charges yesterday by a decree signed by Justice Jennings Bailey in equity court dismissing his wife's bill. Wells is required, however, to contribute $100 a month for his wife's support.

The parties were married October 10, 1894, and have a married daughter. Attorney Charles W. Arth appeared for Wells, and Attorneys Marshall & Hart appeared for Mrs. Wells.

NW or SE?

Do you have any idea if this would have been NW or SE maybe?
There are no buildings left at either address to identify.

[See the comments to the previously-posted photo linked in the caption. - tterrace]

Thanks, tterrace.

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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