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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


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!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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