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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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Good EAT Food: 1938

Good EAT Food: 1938

January 1938. Washington, D.C. "Cafe on L Street." Where the only thing flakier than our delicious biscuits is the peeling paint! 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

1957 Baist's Real Estate Atlas

The 1940 Boyd's City Directory shows 1841 L St. NW to be "Tate Louis restr", which would be a restaurant owned by Louis Tate. Also there by the same name in the classified section.

Things were different by 1957, as shown by the Baist's Real Estate Atlas of that year. Street address 1841 is now assigned to the buildings in lots 937 and 1038. There's a gas station on the corner, with a building set back from the street, like the building with the "Independent" sign in the picture.

1845 L St. NW was a filling station in the 1940 Boyd's City Directory.

I beg to differ

I respectfully disagree with MaltedFalcon on the location of this photo. I don't believe this can be in SE because, well, L St. SE doesn't run past 17th St. (and never has).

No, I think this has to be 1841 L St. NW. That seems to match the 1921 Baist atlas, which shows two frame structures with a narrow side yard to the east (which we see in the companion photo of the shoe store). Even though the photo above is from a later decade, it seems likely that the building in question has been there, slowly deteriorating, since well before 1921.

Chincoteague oysters

"1/2 dozen oysters 35 cents" ... nowadays a half-dozen Chincoteague oysters runs about $6.

This was probably L Street in SE Washington, about 200 feet from the Anacostia River.

When I was a kid my dad would stop by the wharf and buy fresh shucked oysters in big mason jars from the boats at water Street SW. Now it's turned into a fish market. You buy from shops instead of right off the boat.

Panoramic view

A quick stitching and we get a better view of this old building full with character.

Making me hungry

Liver & onions for a quarter?? Make it a double and add some mashed w/dark lumpy gravy and string beans. I'll be back tomorrow for the fried chicken!

Questionable syntax

Put me immediately in mind of our trip to Kyoto, where we'd breakfast in a cafe called "Good Eat You".

We'd joke about putting in a reservation for Donner: "Donner, party of five . . . party of four . . . party of three . . . "

Inscription on door

What is the writing that appears on the door? It looks Arabic.

[1841. And indeed, they are Arabic numerals! -Dave]

Price Gouging

25-cents is way too much to pay for chitterlings. Especially if you can get a Fish Sandwich for a dime.

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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