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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Warehouse Fire: 1925

Warehouse Fire: 1925

        A spectacular fire that spread with a rapidity that stunned firemen virtually destroyed the five-story warehouse of S. Kann & Sons, at Eighth and D streets northwest, shortly after 7 o'clock last night. Merchandise valued at $175,000 was destroyed by the fire, which raced through the building as though fanned by a giant bellows.
        It is believed that a cigarette was accidentally thrown into a basket of excelsior and that the basket was moved into the packing room from the street.
-- Washington Post

January 10, 1925. Washington, D.C. "Fire at S. Kanns warehouse, Eighth and D streets N.W." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

It Survived, And Flourishes!

The building evidently survived as this July 2014 Streetview screenshot seems to show.

The dreaded cigarette-excelsior combination

Replaced by such modern contrivances as scented candles and highly flammable pajamas.

[Let's not forget that other combustible classic, oily rags. - Dave]

The Drama

I happened to be listening to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 when I opened Shorpy today, I highly recommend it for anyone else viewing this picture.


I had to look that up. I guess it's: "Wood wool, commonly known as excelsior, a wood sliver material used for packaging, for the pads in evaporative coolers, and for other applications."

Not quite destroyed

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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