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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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Odd Fellows Temple: 1921

Odd Fellows Temple: 1921

Washington, 1921 or 1922. "Mayer & Co." The Mayer furniture store in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Temple at 419-423 Seventh Street N.W. between D and E. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

 

Not so special delivery

The coal(?) truck double parked in front of Mayer's is incredible: so old and beat to hell. Appears to have solid rubber tires (rather than tires with air in them) and an entirely open cab. No tarp to keep the heaping payload in place over bumps. Bet this truck was very, very unpleasant to drive in the winter (which is the only time you would need coal. You don't heat a house when it is already 86 degrees). Of course that dump truck could be full of dirt from a demolition site instead of coal. But why would you double park with dirt in your truck? That's why I think he is delivering it, and that it is coal.

[It's a Chapman coal truck. For customers who used coal-fired boilers for hot water or had coal stoves for cooking, deliveries were year-round. - Dave]

Smoky Ghosts

I agree, the smoky ghost trail of people in motion during a long exposure is pretty cool. I like to see the smoky ghost trail in modern photos, but this is now very rare.

Painless Dentistry

I'm not sure what his "painless" methods were. Perhaps it was a relative statement or perhaps he used vast quantities of ether.


Washington Post Dec 25, 1910: Advertisement

All Pain Ceases

The moment Dr. Wyeth's work begins. His unrivalled ability as a dentist, his great care and skill restore strength and soundness to your aching teeth without experiencing the least vestige of pain. Dr. Wyeth's popular prices make your dentist bills very small indeed. Cool Attractive parlors assure utmost comfort to patrons.

My Patent Suction Teeth: $5 a Set
They Never Slip or Drop

Fillings in Gold, Silver Platinum and Porcelain
Gold Crowns Bridge Work: $3, $4, $5

Dr. Wyeth, Painless Dentist

427-429 7th Street N.W.
Largest and Most Thoroughly Equipped Parlors In Washington
Appointments May Be Made by Telephone
We keep open until 8 p.m. for the accomodations of those that cannot
come during the day. Sunday hours 10 to 4.

Baltimore Office: 36 West Lexington St
Philadelphia Office: S.E. Cor. 8th and Market Sts.

I'd be interested to know

what Dr. Wyeth's secrets were. How in the heck can a 1921 dentist claim to be painless when my 2008 dentist, using all of the latest techniques and equipment, still hurts like heck. Perhaps Dr. Wyesth's techniques included the use of a large wooden mallet applied to the skull.

The Kneessis

I've done extensive research on the Kneessi firm over the years (after all, I'm family) but left unsaid is that Gus became the owner of the firm upon the death of Kasper in 1890 with his brother Fred and his two sisters. Why the widow of Kasper didn't retain more complete ownership is unknown; she lived until the 1920s. Apparently at some point Gus sold his interest upon opening his own store about 1916. When Fred retired in 1927, he had to split the proceeds with his sisters. That is a public record.

Going back to when Kaspar first moved to Seventh Street at 422, which had been 500 before the streets were renumbered going the other way away from Pennsylvania Avenue, it was because the former owner James Topham had outgrown it. Topham built a new factory across the street on the left side of the I.O.O.F. at an address of 499 Seventh Street. That became 425 after the renumbering. Soon, though, Topham wanted to moved to Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House and sold the building to Kneessi, who needed more space, and the Lansburgh department store made Kneessi an offer he couldn't refuse. Lansburgh's ended up with most of the block where 422 Seventh Street is.

Ghosts!

I love the smoky ghost trails of all the people on the sidewalk that were walking too quickly for the exposure.

He's a really slow reader

So is the guy standing in front of the furniture store part of the picture taking event or is he just really interested in that sign in the window? There are hordes of ghosts in the image and he's crisp as can be.

Kneessi Leather Store

I've been adding content from the Washington Post to this site for a while now. The following article is one of the worst written with the lowest ratio of information-to-words that I have come across. Also the opening run-on sentence is a doozy. More information on Kneessi is at Brettuns Village website.

Washington Post Dec 15, 1912

Firm is 40 Years Old

Kneessi Leather Store Promises More Good Service

On of Washington's oldest, largest, and best known leather goods stores is today passing its fortieth anniversary, without any special notice save announcement of the continuation to the public of the former prompt and efficient attention and high standard of service that has characterized the establishment since its organization in 1872. The store is that of K. Kneessi's Sons, located at 425 Seventh street northwest.

The now prosperous and well-known leather goods shop was established by K. Kneessi. It started in a small was at 422 Seventh street, and its business increased until today it stands as Washington's leading leather shop. At the time the business was started only one floor was needed, and the work consisted in a great measure of repair work. However, Mr. Kneessi, who had long experience in the leather business, was progressive, and soon started to manufacture small articles for sale.

With the beginning of manufacturing in a small way, the establishment had to be enlarged and machines installed. The business grew until the store at 422 had to be abandoned after ten years, and quarters were found at the present location.

When the store was first moved to the new quarters, the entire building was not needed, but with the installation of new and modern machinery for the repair work and manufacturing, one floor after another was added to the establishment until it now occupies the entire building of four floors and a basement. The present store has a depth of 132 feet with a frontage on Seventh street of 25 feet.

In 1887, G.A. Kneessi, a son, who had worked in the store for some time, and had learned the business from the bottom of the ladder, was taken into the partnership with his father. It was but three years after this that K. Kneessi died and left the operating of the then growing establishment to his son, who has had entire charge since. ...

 
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