SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Truck Traffic: 1920

Truck Traffic: 1920

1920. "Barrett Co., Alexandria, Virginia." From a series of photos commissioned by the paving company. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

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Below is the same view from September of 2015.

I've heard that Alexandria is affluent

But I never realized that they have heated streets.


What is that truck coming toward us, just to the left of the pickle truck. It looks like a COE configuration, but that's probably a trick of perspective.

+94 Years

The 400 Block of North Washington Street in the current day. The houses on the right have fared pretty well. The houses on the left, not so much.

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I remember going into a store and you would grab pickles out of a barrel.

When packaging was recyclable

Those are, indeed, pickle barrels. These were made by re-coopering used whiskey barrels, which are taller and narrower than those shown. Whiskey barrels may only be used once to age whiskey, after which they are no longer able to properly contribute the correct flavor and color to that product.

So, used whiskey barrels were disassembled, the heads discarded, the staves shortened, and reassembled with new heads into shorter, squatter barrels of the same capacity. These we see on the back of that truck, for the pickle industry.

[Then I would guess there was something of a pickle-barrel shortage during Prohibition. - Dave]

In a Pickle

I guess it goes without saying what type of barrels those are in the back of that truck.

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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