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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Down the Pole: 1922

Down the Pole: 1922

Washington, D.C., 1922. "Fire layout -- answering the fire bell." The second installment of this thrilling series. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Another Metro Casualty

It could be argued (successfully) that I get too involved in squirreling this stuff out. Anyway, the building was razed because Metro construction damaged its foundation. The entire block is now pretty much the Marriott at 775 12th St NW. See this.


The old fire engine looks like a circa 1916 Seagrave. Determining an exact year is difficult as Seagrave built similar models to this from 1911 - 1920.

The shape of the hood, radiator, cover over the rear-wheel chain drive, and the six-sided star on the hubcaps are all Seagrave features.

Notice the horizontal spring under the front fender. The front bumper should be attached to the bar which connects the springs on both sides of the radiator.

The car in front of the Seagrave looks like a 1918 - 1921 Hudson.

Re: Equipment, And More

It is common for fire departments to keep equipment twenty and thirty years or more. The older equipment is often placed in reserve and used to cover others out for repairs. The steamer in the background is turned around backward unlikely to be used, kept for parades or awaiting a surplus declaration. Also, sometimes big cities have really big fires and although some of the equipment is older it is still maintained which offers a cost effective fleet used at large emergencies. I suspect that newer equipment has been pulled out to make room for the photo and another apparatus lurks at the extreme left. In the center are floor drains or sumps for the sloped floor, not only to collect water but sometimes called pee troughs, leftover from the horse drawn days.


Even for 1922 and in a modern city like DC....isn't that fire apparatus a bit antiquated?
Looks more like a pic from 1902 than 1922.

Running on imagination

That right front tire on the fire truck looks a little overdue for replacement. The tread is only a memory.

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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