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About the Photos

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 • BRIDGE AT ARGENTEUIL, 1874

Kwik-E Mart: 1918

Kwik-E Mart: 1918

Next in National Photo's "old house" series from circa 1918: "Old house, 1st & N Street N.E." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Night Soil

The bucket on the curb could be the Night Soil container, a polite term for human waste which the sanitation department collected for disposal, since indoor plumbing was not in widespread use at the time. DC government services pamphlets mentioned Night Soil Collection into the 1960's. Watering troughs for horses were also part of DC's street furniture into the 1960's.

[It turned out to be a fire hydrant with a cover. Also seen here. - Dave]

About that bucket

Could it contain salt or sand for the road in case of snow? It does appear to be wintertime, if the trees are any indication. (Boy, this is a desolate scene. The building itself appears to be in total disrepair other than the storefront.)

The Bucket

My wife and I have spent years around horses so naturally thought your "bucket" had something to do with them. We came up with two possibilities:

- A low-slung hitching post. I like the idea of a knob on top so you wouldn't have to thread your halter rope through a loop. If the horse steps over the rope, however, you've got a wreck.

_ A manure can. This looks like a better bet. All that horse manure had to go somewhere. This would be a handy way to keep your street clean.

[Looks a bit small for a manure can. Plus, the District sanitation department cleaned the streets of manure. - Dave]

Closeups

Click above to enlarge. What interests me is the "street furniture." The horse fountain on the curb, and whatever that buckety thing is. Garbage pail?

Gallaudet

This is now a part of Gallaudet University. The residences between N & M St were razed recently.

Life was Simpler Before Zoning

The chalkboard sez:

"Wood & Coal
Sugar 6c lb.
Pork Chops 10
Beef Steak 10
Spare Ribs [illegible]
Cut Ham 7c"

What, no Grey Poupon?

Ghost Stairs

Interesting outline of stairs on building to right leading to what is now a door to nowhere except a long first step. You have to wonder if they simply disintegrated or were no longer needed.

Is That You, Apu?

Dave, can we get a blowup of the bay window. I think I can see Apu Nahasapeemapetilon inside.

Thank you, come again!

 
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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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