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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Mysterious Fire: 1912

Mysterious Fire: 1912

May 24, 1912. "R.P. Andrews fire, 628 D Street N.W." Washington Post headline: "Mysterious Fire in R.P. Andrews Warehouse Does $75,000 Damage." The item goes on to say that the cause was thought to have been "wires connected with the electric elevator." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

 

Hmm.

Anyone know what the R.P. Andrews warehouse contained? I'm stumped...

Modesty Permits

Note the mention of TP in the window of R.P. Andrews' shop. I guess our Edwardian forefathers weren't as modest as I thought. I'm still kind of shy about carrying toilet paper home in my shopping bundle for all to see.

More fuel for the fire

Paint supplies and toilet paper. Those combustibles wouldn't have slowed things down. Both are advertised on the windows.

[The sign says "Printers' Supplies." - Dave]

The "P" in "R.P. Andrews"...

...stand for Primatech, of course. This was a Company raid on an early group of Heroes led by Hosmer Higginbotham, whose superpower was to reverse the sizes of the wheels on pennyfarthing bicycles.

When the fire's out...

Stop! Hammer time!

$75 today

Adjusted for inflation, that's $1.6 MILLION dollars today!

[Or would it be more like a billion? - Dave]

Enough signs

Thank goodness there were enough signs so the firemen could find this obscure little business. I also think being next to the buffet helped.

Master detectives.

Paper, paper, paper, stationery, stationery, paper, paper paper, and twine. Plus faulty wiring. And the place goes up in flames? A complete and utter mystery!

 
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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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