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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Hecht's: 1925

Hecht's: 1925

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "New Hecht store, 7th and F Streets N.W." Many spectral pedestrians on view here, evidenced by an army of disembodied legs. Added bonus: The STOP/GO traffic cop. National Photo Co. View full size.

 

Handsome

It was a handsome building then and it still is. Not the least bit flashy, simple, well proportioned and elegant. Good to see that it's qualities were appreciated.

Long lost memories

Before department stores moved from downtown Washington to new-fangled suburban malls in the mid-50s, my mother would take me shopping at this Hechts, also to Woodward & Lothrop nearby. That was always a big deal: dresses and nice shoes, overcoats and hats in winter. Classy stores encouraged classy customers, I guess. Before Visa & Master Card, my mother had her Washington Shopping Plate, good at Woodies, Hechts, Raleighs, Jelliff, Kanns & Lansburgh. Starting around the late 60s through the 80s, those old department stores fell by the wayside - all are gone now. So sad.

Regarding escalators, when I was a small tot I almost pitched headfirst down one. Nearly 60 years later, when I approach that moving top step, my stomach still twists into a knot. Doesn't help I have macular degeneration and terrible depth perception now.

That corner is actually 7th & F Streets NW

That corner is actually 7th & F Streets NW.

One block away

This is at 7th & G Streets NW. Point of view is the present-day Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, looking to the South-East out a window, notice the stone along the right edge of the original photo.

The good old days at Hecht's

Not long after this picture was taken, my folks moved to Washington from Nebraska during the depression. (Yes, they avoided the crowds headed for California.) My mother quickly got a job at this Hecht's store, originally selling baby clothes. But when Hecht's installed the first escalators of any store in Washington, they found that customers were intimidated and afraid to use them. So my mother found herself assigned to ride the escalators all day, to show how safe and easy it was.

But one of the many, often self-inflicted, adventures in her life....

And today my day job is located only five blocks away. Small world.

Disembodied Legs

Like the bottoms of wheels, a leg on the ground does not have blurring forward motion.

Time for a photo

Never seen a clock wrong 4 times a day before!

You take a guess, 3:50 or 1:34.

Still Here!

Now known as Terrell Place.

 
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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