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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Zip It Garage: 1919

Zip It Garage: 1919

District of Columbia, 1919. Willard Service Station, Washington Battery Co., 1623 L Street. The sign: "We respectfully request customers to refrain from talking to workmen. Any information desired will be cheerfully given out by floor superintendent." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

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The car on the left is a circa 1916 Oakland, on the right we see a circa 1917 Stearns Knight, and possibly the smaller four cylinder model, a larger six cylinder car was also offered. Known as "The Car With the White Band Radiator," Stearns was formed in 1898 as the Stearns Motor Car Company. Stearnses were built as quality cars from the get-go. In 1911, Stearns became the first US manufacturer to feature the Knight Sleeve Valve engine. In 1925 Stearns Knight was purchased by the Willys Overland and marketed at the top of the Willys range. Slow sales put an end to Stearns Knight after the 1929 model year.

Washington Battery Garage

Over at the Hemmings blog, Kit Foster identified the two cars as a Scripps-Booth and a Stearns. He also noted the two license plates on the latter and offered an explanation.

Willard Batteries

"Willard" may refer to a brand of batteries rather then the name of the service station. Washington Battery Company, originally located at 1621 L street expanded in 1918. In addition to car batteries they sold batteries for radios and farm appliances.

Washington Post, Feb 17, 1918

Due to increase in business the Washington Battery Company has found it necessary to enlarge its quarters on L street by taking the building next door, at 1623 L street, which is now being remodeled.

Washington Post, Mar 2, 1924: Advertisement

A Punch When You Need It

Willard "A" Batteries give better voltage characteristics,
last longer then average "A" battery.
Ask your Radio dealer - he carries them in stock.
Washington Battery Co.
1621 L Street N.W.

Old-tyme manners

Is this the 1919 equivalent of a sign on the side of the garage that says:

"Car repair: $75/hour.
Car repair if you want to help: $150/hour."

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

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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