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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 • PROTECT HER FROM TUBERCULOSIS

Qwerty Wagon: 1919

Qwerty Wagon: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Underwood Typewriter Co., 1413 New York Avenue N.W." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Citroen 2CV 1955

in the early 60's I drove a Citroen 2CV 1955 that had some nice features.
First there was a speedometer driven by cable. The screen wipers were driven by the same cable, which meant that the speedometer needle would start to shake whenever the wipers were put on.

2 CV 1955 speedometer

But it had also a very special fuel meter: it had a long (about 3 ft) fiber gauging rod, hanging down from the fuel tank entrance. If you wanted to know the fuel level you simply swung the rod a few times around in the air, to get it dry, and then dipped it in your tank, the fuel level could be read from the rod by means of an imprinted scale on it.

2 CV 1955 gauge

By the way: it was a pefect camper for me and my friend, you just took out the seats, and you had a flat surface to put your air-beds on (how modern). You even could drive, sitting on the floor, to the village water pump to wash you face the next morning!

Bricks and mortar

You can almost hear the bricklayers pissing & moaning about all the extra work to make a teardrop shape that nobody will even notice. True craftsmanship, though.

That sprocket

The "sprocket" is actually a gear used to drive the speedometer cable. These were used on many different cars and trucks of the era.

Sprockets

Can some antique car enthusist explain the sprocket arrangement on the passenger side front wheel. Early 4WD maybe?

It's the early 20th C version of the Apple Store

What's the typeface used for the store sign?

Typewriter Song

Remember the great "Typewriter Song"? There is a great free version of it on the internet by "The Boston Pops". Every time I hear a typewriter or think of the word, it reminds me of that song.

Carriage Return

The truck looks a bit like an old Underwood typewriter. That same dark metal. You can just hear the keys clicking, the carriage sliding along its bed, until it hits the bell and "ding!" I miss that sound. I keep meaning to dust off my old Underwood and get back to real writing!

[Also note that someone misspelled "typewriter" on the truck. - Dave]

Nice detail

There's some attractive masonwork in the pillar in the right hand side of the photo. No fancy moulded brick, just something that could be done with a brick hammer and chisel. I wonder if it was part of the architect's design or a flight of fancy for the brick mason.

Lambie Hardware

Washington Post, Feb 17, 1956

Hardware Store to Close Doors

The James B. Lambie Co., Inc., at 1415 New York ave, nw., one of Washington's oldest hardware stores, will soon close its doors.

Henry F. Broadbent, 75, president of the company, said the 75-year-old store will close "as soon as I finish cleaning out," which he expects will be in a couple weeks.

He said, "Business hasn't been so good and we just decided to quit, that's all."

Welcome Home

It looks like the owner of the store must have had a son in the military during WW I. There's a photo of a soldier in the window, with a "Welcome Home" banner just above it. Since the photo is dated 1919, the timing would be right for a soldier returning from Europe.

[The "Welcome Home" is directed to potential customers. - Dave]

U Turn

"Positively No Parking Here" -- unless you're posing for a picture

Perfect

What a wonderful Ford truck! Beautifully done, lovely proportions. All it needs is a 428!

 
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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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