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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Fifteenth and F: 1921

Fifteenth and F: 1921

Washington, D.C. "Jordan Piano Co." 15th and F Streets NW at the Treasury building. The LOC date range here is "1920 or 1921." Who can date the Saturday Evening Post cover? National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

 

re: Jordan Piano

These days, the building on the left is the Hotel Washington I think. It's been up and down, and is undergoing renovation now. Back when it was at its low ebb, it was the site of the Washington Stereo (or HiFi) Show, with exhibitors in the hotel rooms of the first couple of floors. It was in one of those that I got my first look at a CD player, priced at something like $1000.

SEP cover

Neat little treasure hunt. That January cover date matches the bare trees in the background as well.

Beautiful photos, great site. Thanks!

Jordan Piano

Jordan Piano has, through several mutations, turned into Jordan Kitt's Music, the oldest music retailer in the DC area. They still sell pianos.

Why, is that an eye in the sky?

What is on the roof of the building on the right? Has the silhouette of a video camera.

[Probably not a video camera. - Dave]

Saggy & Ratty II

This is indeed a great photo, and tracking down the SEP cover is one of the great things about the internet. But please don't interpret sjmills's comment as speaking for your readership at large. It was the flapper portraits that first drew me to Shorpy, and I hope you continue with them. Remember that to a society accustomed to corseted Gibson Girls, saggy boobs and ratty hair meant raw, unbridled sexuality.

And now, time for a joke:

Ernest: Say, Bill, would you date a flapper?

Billy: I would, Ern, but you know I don't call them flappers. I call them "bungalows."

Ernest: Bungalows!? Why's that?

Billy: Because they're painted in the front, shingled in the back, and they got no entry!

-- Billy Jones & Ernest Hare, "The Interwoven Pair."

Saggy & Ratty

That phrase from the commentary of sjmills made me laugh out loud...it would be a perfect name for our group of ancient mallwalkers who congregate daily at the local mall and lumber around like the undead from a zombie movie in order to tell our doctors "yes, we exercise every day." I must say you certainly have brilliant researchers and astutely observant commentaries from your Shorpy fans, they are obviously on a much higher intelligence level than other message boards. Thanks for the memories.

Looks Modern

Everything about this photo comes off as looking like something taken today. The perspective looks forced, the lighting harsh and unnatural, the depth of field infinitely huge, even the composition. It's one of my favorites so far - much better than saggy boobs and ratty hair.

[Behind the camera is another D.C. landmark, the Old Ebbitt Grill. - Dave]

I found it!

The Saturday Evening Post cover in the photo appears to be from January 8th 1921. It's one of the many illustrations of women by Neysa McMein.
I don't know how to paste images here but here's the site where I found it.
http://www.curtispublishing.com/other-artists/html/McMein1.html

SEP cover

Maybe this one?

[Bingo. January 8, 1921. Thanks! - Dave]

Jordan Piano?

According to advertisements in the Washington Post, The Arthur Jordan Piano Co. was located at 13th and G streets (1239 G NW).

[Labels on National Photo's glass negatives are often (even usually) the name of the client. Not necessarily what's in the picture. - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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