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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Capital Transit: 1935

Capital Transit: 1935

October 1935. Washington, D.C. "Capital Transit buses, F and 13th sts. NW." Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street. 4x5 glassneg. View full size.

 

Was Chickering A 30's Variation Of Twerking?

Nah!

Chickering and Sons was an American piano manufacturer located in Boston, Massachusetts

Other than slightly more modern vehicles

The scene looked much the same 15-20 years later. As a boy (born 1945) I lived about 10 blocks away from this intersection.

Q&A

The two-door car at right appears to be a 1928 Plymouth Model Q (I owned one in the '70s & '80s) but the front bumper doesn't match.

After some research, I now suggest that the car is a 1929 Plymouth model U. The very first Plymouth was the model Q, unveiled July 7, 1928. Model U was introduced February 4, 1929 and differed little from the Q in external appearance, the front bumper being a notable exception.

The old "Phone Factory" -- Downtown Toll

The tall building behind Sloan's Art Gallery, 725 13th Street, is what C&P Telephone called Downtown Toll. AT&T Long Lines called it WASH-1. The C&P Downtown Central office is directly behind (722 12th Street, pictured in several Shorpy snaps).

13th Street in front of 725 is a huge cable vault. Conduit runs north to Silver Spring and on to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York (and south to Richmond). The original Long Distance telephone service, for the metro DC area, all routed through WASH-1

The building was later doubled in size and an attempt was made for the 13th Street view to appear as one building but the two halves are clearly visible in a modern picture.

In the early 1970s WASH-1 Washington Telegraph still operated on the third floor of the old building and there was a toll distributing frame on the fourth floor (for interconnecting AT&T Long Lines and C&P) that was still plumbed with gas lines (but capped off) that were used to heat soldering irons before electric soldering irons were used.

Happy Birthday

I was born in October of 1935. I don't know whether to be elated or depressed I made it this far.

Still there, but it has grown

The 13th Street side of the Homer Building is the most prominent structure in this photo. The building is still there, but seven floor have been added on top of it. The first floor area at the far corner under the white awning has been carved out of the building and is now the 13th and G entrance to the Metro Center station of Washington's Metro subway system.

Rolling stock trivia

The Chevrolet taxi at the far right and the identical one next to the bus are the new for 1935 all steel top Chevrolets. The 1930 model A Ford coupe evidently just got a fill up and the attendant spilled some gas on the cowl. The taxi just left of the top of the cherry blossoms with oval headlights is a Hupmobile. The Capitol Towel Service van is a Walker Electric. The sedan delivery to the rear of the White oil truck heading the opposite direction is a 1933 Chevrolet which repeated the great look of the 1932 car on the commercial line. Note the coach lamps on the rear top corners. If one could afford a car in 1935 most buyers went for a closed car. Note no roadsters nor phaetons in this photo.

[Arboreally speaking, there are no cherry blossoms downtown (especially in October). That's a ginkgo tree. - Dave]

Gotham City?

Oh no! I can't ignore the "Joker" looking out a window on the top floor of the building with the awnings.

Say it isn't so

I don't see any chop suey restaurants or painless dentists.

Future hotrods

Look at all the future hotrods on this street. I'll bet there some gearheads just drooling over all these beautiful pieces of Detroit iron.

 
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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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