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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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Petro-Hut: 1920

Petro-Hut: 1920

Washington circa 1920. "Penn Oil Co., Massachusetts Avenue & Wisconsin Avenue station." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


Later an Amoco station

This was a gas station until about 1959. Now a small park. I grew up at 38th & Garfield.

No highfalutin station here

This is what's known as a no frills gas station. You want your oil checked? there's the dipstick. Want you windshield cleaned? The water and squeegee are over there. Now get your gas and get outta here.

Penn Oil

I love the gas station photos Shorpy has been featuring. Nice variety, from petroleum palaces to petro-huts. This one gets my vote for the most forlorn.


I pass by there every day on the way to school. Looks like things have changed!

Petro Hut

Based on the grade and the location of the lines, I think this is the southeast corner, probably the area now bounded by Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Garfield Street NW:

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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