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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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Cutting Edge: 1920

Cutting Edge: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Moore's Auto Supply Shop, 20th & K streets N.W." Next door at Bowie's Tonsorial Parlor: "Hair-Cutting by Electricity." In addition to the usual services of facial massage and umbrella repair. View full size.


We need more room!

It looks as if those box windows were added after the building's original construction. What a novel way to increase showroom space. (Don't try this if your shop fronts a busy street as the pedestrians may take offense.)

Bricks and Stars

I'm amazed at that brickwork. That must have leaked. It looks sloppy in the extreme.

BTW, what is that star doing on that other building? They were in the picture, a few submissions back, of the oil co. Rotor? The one by the antique store.

[Those are turnbuckle stars. Anchors for tie rods that go all the way through a building to a second star on the other side. They keep the brick walls from tipping out. - Dave]

Bowie's Tonsorial Parlor

That's a strange place next door -- facial massages, umbrella repairs, and hair cutting by electricity!

935 20th Street

The brickwork on the buildings to either side are done in Common (American) Bond. Also, what -- aside from being decorative -- are those ventlike fixtures on top of the display windows? Why would that little storefront need so much venting? The little stars on top are a nice touch, though. I doubt that if those two men inside the store were to be magically transported back to this corner today, they'd be impressed, in a positive way, with what they'd see.

[Those bays would heat up fast in the summer with all that glass. - Dave]

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THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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