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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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Detroit Electric: 1921

Detroit Electric: 1921

1921 or 1922. "Detroit Electric car at the State, War and Navy building in Washington." View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

I Won't See Your Detroit Electric but I'll Raise You a Milburn

This is a 1918 - 1921 Milburn Model L Brougham.

Can we please update the title now?

Nice lines

I like the upsweep at the back of the car between the body and the windows. I don't think I've ever seen a sweeping line like that on an old car before.

Now post...

a picture of Pennsylvania avenue in front and beside the white house - where you said the building was, "right beside the White House" - showing the barricades preventing automobile traffic.

[It is next to the White House. But I never said anything about driving on Pennsylvania Avenue. - Dave]

Not today

Automobile traffic is expressly forbidden on that whole section of Penn. Nowadays the biggest thing you could drive through there is a skateboard...

[Yes, today. It's the humongous building on 17th Street across from the Corcoran Gallery. Hard to miss. - Dave]

Kinda nervous

Thanks Dave, kinda nervous about going near the White House nowadays. Might be why I missed it.

[When I worked downtown I'd drive by this building every day. - Dave]

The building in the background

Living in the District as I do I often go searching for a "modern" view of the buildings shown on here. I cannot find this building however. Can anyone tell me where it is or what became of it if it is no longer standing? Did it become part of the LOC?

[Did you try Googling the name in the caption? State, War and Navy Building. This D.C. landmark at 17th and Pennsylvania next to the White House is now called the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Formerly Old Executive Office Building, and before that the State, War and Navy Building. - Dave]

Electric Car

This is a Milburn 27L.

Detroit Electric

Looks like I'll be trading in my Beetle:

"After 100 Years, Electric Brand Revived"

I tawt I taw a ...

I can't look at this without thinking of Tweety, Sylvester, and that little old lady...

Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America

Detroit Electric Car

I understand that someone has bought the rights to make the Detroit Electric Car again. They will be making some that look like this one and then there are others that are designed for right now.

Viable option?

Finally found that "well turned ankle and shoe", anyway now that gas is nearing the $3.50 a gallon mark, electric cars are starting to sound better. I was wondering what type of performance the owner of a 1921 Detroit Electric car could expect.


I love how you can see the old brick gutter reflected in the side of the car. It's too bad the photographer wasn't caught too.

Ghost and the Machine

All that's left is a well turned ankle and shoe. Some poor woman wandered into the shot on the left, stopped for a second, and most likely turned around and left.

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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