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About the Photos

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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

The Road to Mecca: 1923

The Road to Mecca: 1923

Reviewing stands set up for the Shriners Convention of June 1923, which hosted a quarter-million delegates from lodges and temples across the United States in Washington for a week of parades along Pennsylvania Avenue, strung with thousands of lights and rechristened the "Road to Mecca" at a time when interest in fraternal organizations was at its peak. Harris & Ewing photo. View full size.

 

Wouldn't want to be hit by one of those cars

Think of the protruding fenders, exposed radiators (dozens of sharp aluminum fins), ornate radiator caps, lack of safety glass, etc. Winston Churchill was famously hit by a car in New York in the 1920s and suffered for it for months.

Wires! Lights! A billboard on the Apex Building!

The National Capital Planning Commission would have collective apoplexy. Given the city's ban on overhead wiring back then, I guess even the wooden poles were temporary. Must have been some Masons in high places.

View of this intersection today

Better Be Careful Than Crippled

Truly, words to live by. Although that's not such a PC way to express it today.

Better Be Careful...

Street sign:
"Better Be Careful Than Crippled."

Priceless, and succinct!

 
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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