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About the Photos

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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Visible Writer: 1918

Visible Writer: 1918

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. Another thrilling installment of "Emergency Fleet Corporation, building exterior." At center is the Underwood typewriter office at 1206 F Street N.W. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Not my sheltie after all

That poster in the window of the bookshop - the thing on the pillow looks like my sheltie with the covers pulled up. I guess not.

Underwood Typewriter

In the early sixties, during my teen-age time, my father brought such an Underwood typewriter:

a spare one from the office where he worked, for use at home. My brother and I saw it and were amazed by it, saying: "wow, that's an old-fashioned typewriter!", when our mother, somewhat indignantly answered: "Old-fashioned, you call that old-fashioned? I worked all my working life with such a machine!" She was from 1902, being the first girl at a Rotterdam high school (until then for boys only), and worked as an assistant at a bank's office. When there happened to be a cash discrepancy of a cent, they had to make over-time (without being paid for!) until the cause of the discrepancy would have been found.

Fonts

My first thought was that International Mercantile Marine wisely chose Arial/Verdana, knowing it would last at least the next 100 years!

Early American

Wow! Must be Early Piscataway architecture!

Anno 1206

Here in Europe a number on the gable stands for the year of build. Is it common in America to put the number of the address there?

[Maybe it's one of Washington's few remaining 13th-century typewriter shops. Paging Stanton Square! - Dave]

Future Font

The window lettering on Stewards Business College looks very ahead of its time. It still has some old-world feel about the shapes, especially the e's and g's, but overall it looks more like lettering done much later in the 20th Century. And look; lower-case letters on signage! The nerve! They must've been using Macs in there. Way ahead of their time.

Compelling drama

That car in the middle looks really nice. And I must say that the streetwalkers were well dressed back in the day.

World's greatest typists

"THE World's greatest typists" sounds funny, was it such a higly appraised job back then?

Upper Class

This must be a real upper class area photo, with no Fords in sight as well as high dollar cruises for sale, and superb women's apparel too. Even if I was rich then I would surely think twice about a cruise with the White Star Line!

"The Machine You Will Eventually Buy"

Just down the street: Erlebacher's Clothing and Saks Fur Co.


1916_underword_typewriter

Jackie Was Here

Erlebacher's "became nationally famous when Jacqueline Bouvier bought much of her trousseau there prior to her marriage to John Fitzgerald Kennedy."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erlebacher%27s

Birthplace of the National Press Club

"In a room lent by the Washington Chamber of Commerce in the old Brentano Building at Twelfth and F Streets thirty-two eager newspapermen appeared and, at 4:30 o'clock on March 12, 1908, was born the National Press Club."

What Goes Around...

Those boots on the lady to the left, I swear I saw them in the shoestore today.

White Star

Hey look, it's the local offices of White Star Line! Stop in and ask them about their soon-to-be-built megaship, the Titan-something-or-another. I hear it'll be unsinkable!

[In 1918 you'd be a little late. - Dave]

Right On Time

Two well dressed ladies waiting for the trolley.

 
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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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