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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 • PROTECT HER FROM TUBERCULOSIS

Curb Work: 1920

Curb Work: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Curb work -- car stop on 14th Street N.W." Streetcar infrastructure. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Droop Merchant

I suspect the "Droop" sign at top left is for Edward F. Droop & Sons, sellers of pianos and other musical instruments.

Droop?

Beyond the Gardner and Dent sign, we see "Droop". Surely someone can identify the business/building associated with that.

No Wires!

An unusual feature of Washington's street car system was that there were no overhead wires in the downtown area to power the cars. The streetcars were powered through "plows" that went into slots between the tracks to connect to power under the street. The slots are visible in the photo if you look closely. It was a neat system, although snow and ice could cause problems.

History Repeats Itself

In a few years, this scene might be repeated. If the North/South Streetcar line is built, it "would run from the Southwest Waterfront, cross the National Mall, travel up 14th Street, follow Georgia Avenue, and eventually terminate at the Takoma or Silver Spring Metro stations."

Today

The corner building is still there.


View Larger Map

Shannon and Luchs

Shannon and Luchs Real Estate, the business located behind the parked bicycle around the center of the photo, was around until 1993, when it was bought out.

 
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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