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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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Corner Grocery: 1921

Corner Grocery: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921, looking up Georgia Avenue at Howard Place, and Jacob Katzen's grocery, dealer in Velvet Kind ice cream and Whistle. Another Harris & Ewing glass negative from the "traffic" series. View full size.

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The corner stores

The Ma and Pa corner stores were commonplace in the East. I grew-up in Baltimore during the 1940/50s.

On two blocks of Frederick Ave in SW Balto, the 4 corners were occupied by a pharmacy/soda fountain, a bakery, a grocery store, and a butcher shop. Oh, how I enjoyed the smells of the bakery -- bread, pastries, cakes, and pies. The grocery store was cramped and you had to ask for the items you wanted.

Some of those stores survived into the 70s. On the two blocks I referenced, 3 are gone and the butcher shop is a liquor store. Not the atmosphere of my youth.

Relic of Gentler Times

Although I can recall horses (and their wagons) delivering milk, vending produce, and soliciting scrap in the neighborhoods of some eastern cities as recently as the late '40s, I'd submit that even in 1921 a horse-drawn conveyance used non-commercially was something of an unusual sight on the streets of DC.

Big Gulp

The corner store has been swallowed up by Howard University's School of Social Work:

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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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