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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Union Station: 1919

Union Station: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Union Station from air." Something special seems to be happening down there. National Photo Co. Collection. View full size.

 

General Pershing Arrives

The a similar photo appears in the book Capitol Hill (Images of America) by Paul K. Williams and Gregory J. Alexander. That photo shows a different moment of the procession but the viewpoint is the same and the parked automobile and trolley positions are identical. The authors report that the event is the arrival of General Pershing from France.


Washington Post, Sep 12, 1919

Guns to Welcome
Gen. Pershing Today

Salute of 17 Will Announce His Arrival at 4 P.M.

Reception At Station

Gen. Pershing will arrive in Washington shortly after 4 o'clock this afternoon, and accompanied by members of his staff and a reception committee will proceed to the Shoreham after a brief stop at Union Station. ...

Seventeen guns, fired by a First division battery will serve the dual purpose of saluting the general and announcing his arrival in the National Capital, just after the special train pull into the station.

The reception at the station will take place in the President's room. Following the exchange of official greetings Gen. Pershing's automobile will drive west on the Union Station Plaza, past the postoffice to North Capitol street, south to B street, west to First street, south to Pennsylvania avenue and up Fifteenth street to the Shoreham. ...

About 800 schoolchildren will present a pageant at the Union Station as a feature of the welcome. Mrs. Marie Moore Forrest will direct the pageant.

I spy

The white coats may be sailors. One open car among the eight waiting nearby. Is that an ambulance with back door open? Bottom middle we find cavalry. Marshal Foch might be a good guess but I would expect to see the French flag flying next the the American flag.

[There used to be a huge Masonic convention every summer in Washington in the early 1920s, with a parade from Union Station. Maybe this is that. - Dave]

Welcome Back, Eddie

My guess is that the citizens of Washington, D.C., having sorely missed his peripatetic perambulations about the nation's capital over the previous year, have turned out in force to celebrate the return of the "ever-enigmatic" Edwards boy.

Maybe Warren

... was really, really late?

Waiting for Warren

Just a guess: Was this the crowd waiting for the newly-elected Warren G. Harding to arrive in March 1921 for his inauguration?

[The trees would be bare in March. - Dave]

So many questions

I'd love to find out what everyone was waiting for. Yet for some reason I'm curious about the little playing field off to the right. Was it a little rec area for the train employees? Is it a badminton court? I can't make out a net.

Happy centennial, Union Station!

How appropriate -- Union Station just celebrated its 100th birthday last weekend.

Focal Plane Shutter?

As the slit travels over the frame, the airplane might move. What film is this on?

[There is no film. These photos were all made on glass. - Dave]

Bigshot

Note white-coats lined up at entrance to right, black limos with flags waiting nearby, crowds lining route limos will take out of Union Station toward North Capitol Street.

Marshal Foch visited America in November 1921, could this be his arrival in Washington?

Tilt-shift or What?

Is there any way to account for the blurring of focus at center frame here? It almost looks like one of those (oh-so-trendy after Thom Yorke's Harrowdown Hill music video) tilt-shift-focused aerial photographs, except that the focus isn't consistent.

The effect is exciting, anyway. Makes huge vistas seem like tiny, microdetailed dioramas.

 
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