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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Spite House: 1924

Spite House: 1924

Circa 1924. "Ford Coupe at 'little house' in Alexandria, Virginia." National Photo owner Herbert E. French examining that city's Little House (a.k.a. "Spite House") on Queen Street, a narrow dwelling with a long history. View full size.

 

Spite House

Well we finally got back to Alexandria today, and I just couldn't wait to jump onto Queen Street and see this house. Remarkable that I've been past here lots of times during my 61 years and never noticed this unique home. Then Shorpy comes along and makes this visit even more special. Thanks, Dave

Warped Perspective

Now I know for sure I've been in Japan too long. After a quarter-century of seeing such rabbit hutch housing the photo didn't strike me as the least bit odd and it took me a while to figure out what there was unique or interesting about it. You want to see some oddly proportioned buildings, spite or otherwise, come over here. We have them by the bushel.

More proof.....

...that people were much thinner back then !

Virtual Spite

The pictures in the NYT article are very good.

Here is a virtual tour via the Washington Post from 2006, starting in the living room.

The T

The Ford Model T in the picture is actually a two door sedan...A coupe of that era would not have a rear seat.

Not even a mouse!

Impossible to swing a rodent, let alone a cat!!

Little House today

So THAT's why!

Now that I've learned to use the highlighted links, I can recommend it to others. So it meant one less alley in Old Town! Marvelous. Good luck on doing something like that today!!! The minimum HUD bedroom dimension is, what, ten feet? Love it!

[Indeed. To all the folks who linked to the NYT article on this house: That link is already in the caption under the photo! - Dave]

 
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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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