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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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Back Issue: 1920

Back Issue: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Nation's Business." A look behind the scenes at the offices of that magazine. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Publication folded

in 1999. Here is a link to back issues of Nation's Business 1912-1999.

Mills Building

In the early 1920s, the editorial staff of Nation's Business, headed by Merle Thorpe, worked out of offices in the Mills Building at the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 17th Street NW. The Mills Building would be replaced in the 1960s by a modern building that is also known as the Mills Building. Nation's Business presumably moved into the new headquarters building of its owner, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at 1615 H. St. NW, when it was completed in 1925.

I spy...

The taller building visible through the window looks very much like the Commercial National Bank Building on the NW corner of 14th & G NW.

Miss Jones

get me the number of that wallpaper contractor.

Picture in Picture

I wish I could see more of the photo on the wall to the left.

Added to my reading list

I would really like to peruse that copy of "The Price of Inefficiency"

95 year old baby

This kid would be at least 96 now, depending on how old the picture was at the time. His great-great-great-grandchildren could be looking at this now.

The Very First Version

Looks like he's gazing at Windows 1.0!

Old Books, Modern Times

The three books on the right are available for free at, just in case anyone's interested.


Is that the Chicago Manual of Style near the left end? I have a much more recent edition, but it's nice to know it has a long heritage.

Debits by the window; credits by the file drawers

Is that a double inkwell?
It's very businesslike.
Black ink for most stuff.
Red ink used sparingly.

Typewriter Desk

The typewriter being on a folding platform to the right of the kneehole.

"Making the Office Pay"

That book's title sounds like a manifesto for a modern day tragedy waiting to happen. I hope nobody ever steals this guy's stapler.

Books were expensive even then!

$6 in 1920 is equal to $71.36 today according to the CPI Inflation calculator.

Desktop Library

Click to enlarge.

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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