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About the Photos

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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The Patent Office: 1924

The Patent Office: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "U.S. Patent Office." Now the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

A moment in time

Too bad we don't have the date!
Year: 1924
Time: 1:19:20 PM, synced to the USNO
I'd love to see the details of the label on the Standard Clock more clearly.


Love these photos but what happened to the option of viewing in high def? It's great to be able to see all the details.

[Click the photo or the "View full size" link in the caption. - tterrace]

Patent search fun

It's fun to do a few Google patent searches. For example, second floor, right side, second shelf from the top, facing the camera. 194381: improvements on folding chairs, 1877. There are lots of dreams, history and fortunes made and lost in this picture.


I wonder if it was just more convenient to jot a note there while searching the latest mousetrap patent, though there appears to be an eyeball scribbled as well. Also, I assume the "canopy" setup was to keep the lower levels cool by protecting from the sun through the skylights. I bet it wasn't fun to make a run to that third level in mid-summer.

1924 Graffiti ???

First pillar on right, second level. Someone drew a face among other things.


It would appear that it was common and accepted practice to scribble notes on the stone columns - on the left side they appear to have been scrubbed off but the janitors have not done the right side yet. One wonders why management did not install clipboards/pads or small blackboards at these locations ?

Everything Indicates

The interior today, scrubbed clean of a thousand remarkable details of a vanished analog world:

Writing on the wall

Interesting graffiti on the right. Not the graffiti itself so much as the idea that there would be some in such an ornate location.

Who did the electrical work?

I know it's early electrical usage and before stringent codes but did they hire some guy's brother in law with 2 hours' experience on running electrical lines? Looks like a fire begging to be let free.

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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