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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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After Hours: 1921

After Hours: 1921

"Mrs. McPherson, interior, Lansburgh." 1921 or 1922. The old Lansburgh department store in Washington, D.C. View full size. National Photo Company.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


There is something compelling about those beautiful old china dolls. Something about them looking so lifelike and worldly, yet not being alive, but not dead either - I would think that, to be dead, something would have to have once lived.

And, I too, remember that Twilight Zone episode. "Marcia," the protagonist, was played by Anne Francis, who later in the sixties starred in a mercifully forgotten TV show called "Honey West" (okay, okay!!...I watched it!! I was pubescent at the time!)

Just Perfect, too!

I love it. I'd love to see the dolls & the wonderful baby clothes up close. My mom was born in 1921, so this picture makes me imagine my own mother as a sweet baby girl! Thanks for the wonderful picture!

Merrie Melodies

No Twilight Zone visions for me; what first came to my mind was one of those old black and white Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoons, where after the old watchman turned out all the lights aisle by aisle in the department store and locked the place up, all the dolls and toys would come to life and start singing bouncy Warren & Dubin songs. What-da-dee-ya, hotcha!

Just Perfect!

It is amazing how different a reaction you can have to a photo, depending on your point of view! When I saw this photo, I nearly cried. This is something I would have dearly loved to have shown my mother, who passed away two years ago. She and I were in the antique doll business for 28 years, restoring and selling dolls. Our first shop was set up very similar to this, with antique dolls interspersed with baby and children's clothing. I KNEW that when I saw eight comments, most would be people who thought these little beauties were scary! LOL! But for me, seeing these lovely, jointed German Bisque dolls in their original clothing, was an amazing treat. At this time, it was the end of the bisque doll era, and soon composition (wood pulp and glue) "unbreakable" simple baby dolls would take over, and signal the end of the scary dolls with real looking teeth! Each one was a unique work of art, hand created by truly talented painters and porcelain artists. These dolls with their perfect hair and huge bows, the beautiful crocheted blankets, wool coats, satin hats, and the row of sailor dresses all make this one of my favorite photos I have ever seen on Shorpy! Thank you!



I think I saw this movie.

Chucky the evil doll comes to life and rages around the store, swinging his axe at any human foolish enough to stay in the store after hours.

If the foolish people would just leave the store when the foreboding music begins, they wouldn't always fall victim to the evil dolls in these movies.

De De Do Do

I find this image delightfully creepy! Almost looks like they'll come to life when the store closes at night!

The After Hours


My thoughts exactly. Now, how do I get out of here?!

Twilight zone

The shadowy lighting reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode where the mannequins came to life after the store closed for the night. No long rows of fluorescent tubes here.


Reminds me of a certain episode of "The Twilight Zone" by the same name -- "The After Hours." Have you found your gold thimble yet?

For the record

I have looked at this picture for ten minutes and cannot think of anything to say about it. i mean that in a good, good way. Thanks.


I can already imagine those dolls coming to life, after the photographer left.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

She's writing a letter to Daddy from the Lansburgh department store.


This has got to be one of the creepiest Shorpy photos ever. It reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode in which department store mannequins come alive at night (with a little bit of the murderous doll episode thrown in). The deflated beach ball hanging from the ceiling just adds to the weirdness.

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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