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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

This Old House: 1918

This Old House: 1918

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Old house, Md. Ave. N.E. Built by Thomas Taylor in 1876." The caption says Maryland Avenue, but the street sign indicates otherwise. Thought I'd better post this before any more chunks of the glass negative (or house) fall off. National Photo Co. glass negative. View full size.

 

How about the sign?

There appears to be a sign on the corner of the house (near the center of this image), and about five feet off the ground, using the men in the left corner for comparison. Is the original image clear enough to read?

[It says Something something T.A. TAYLOR. Something something. - Dave]

Herman

I think Herman Munster bought the place for his family in the 60s.

The house suits the man,

The house suits the man, judging from the pictures. What a grand old eccentric place. But the houses on the left look like simple shanties -- I've never seen any quite like that.

1876-1926

James Goode's "Capital Losses" reports the Taylor house was razed in 1926 for the construction of the New Haven apartments house (now the Congressional House, seen in Stanton Square's post below).

Third and D Today

Mockingbird Lane

This is a fabulous looking house. Is it still around? Or did it crumble away?

This place would make a great haunted house. It reminds me a little of the house from the first Lemony Snicket book.

Above Grade

Their being so far above the grade of the street is probably a result of D.C. government's paving/regrading program of the early 1870s.

It left quite a few houses connected to the street with the kind of steep, ramshackle wooden steps visible in front of the houses on the left


(800 block of E Street, NE ca. 1890, from the HSWDC collection)

Contrast

The "Big House" is even more grand in contrast with the meager dwellings nearby.

Carpenter Gothic

So much to love about this one. The house seems to be an example of "Carpenter Gothic," one of the largest I've seen in that style. I love the way the focus or depth of view falls away as you move from the center of the picture. A great find. I wonder what is on this site today?

Note the "Road Apples"

Twenty years later, the horseless carriage was hailed for cleaning up the environment, namely; animal droppings.

Looks like a wonderful home.

Look Out Below

This is a good example of what yards looked like before everyone owned a lawn mower. And how a person had to watch where they stepped whilst crossing the street.

Spooky

This is a great picture for the Halloween season. There's something a bit spooky about the whole scene. The crookedness of the roof elements, the urns, the broken fence, the slightly blurred man...

Boo!

How would you like to come upon this house on Halloween night!?

The Magic of Glass

I was just wondering about this the other day; namely, whether you ever come across cracked, chipped or shattered glass plate negatives, and what that would look like. So there we are. The house of an ancient mycophile.

I'd have to agree with my photography teacher: there is a certain magic about these artifacts. This chemically-treated glass plate was in place inside the camera at the time when this image was projected, this man was walking in front of the lens...

And, well, you just don't get that with a digital or even 35 mm camera.

Taylor House

This Gothic house at 238 D Street N.E. (northwest corner of Third and D, some sources list address as 238 Massachusetts Ave) was the home of Dr. Thomas Taylor (1820-1910), who worked for the Department of Agriculture and was an expert on mushrooms, among other things. He authored and illustrated a book on edible mushrooms of the U.S.


Washington Post Jan 30, 1910

Venerable Scientist Dead

Dr. Thomas Taylor Had Earned Eminence in Study of Chemistry.

At the age of 90 years, Dr. Thomas Taylor, a resident of Washington since he civil war, died at this home, 238 Massachusetts avenue northeast, yesterday morning. ....

Dr. Thomas Taylor was born April 22, 1820 in Perth, Scotland. He studied chemistry at Anderson University, Glasgow. He came to America in 1851, and soon after his arrival became identified with investigation in the ordnance department of the United States army, making a specialty of improving rifle shells, and merited the recognition given to his work by President Lincoln.

In 1871, Mr. Taylor entered the service in the Department of Agriculture. He was among the first to make investigations of adulterated food and edible and poisonous mushrooms. Late in life, Mr. Taylor took up the study of medicine at the Georgetown Medical School and was graduated in 1882. Dr. Taylor was elected an honorary member of the microscopical section of the Royal Institution of London, the French Chemical Society, the International Medical of Society of Hygiene, Belgium; the American Society of Microscopists, the Textile Fiber Association, as well as a member of the American Pomological Association.

Portrait of Thomas Taylor


Street view of site today (click on image for more info & larger view)

 
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