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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Napoleon's Pastry Shop: 1924

Napoleon's Pastry Shop: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Cathedral Mansions, bakery," 3000 Connecticut Avenue. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


When I was a child in a small town straddling the Ohio-Indiana border, a drug store there had chairs just like these, triangular seats, and a nice soda fountain. What a super place, and just down the block from my grandparents' jewelry store.

I'm Really Curious

The shrouded ceiling lights have me stumped. Has anyone ever seen them before?

[Ever been in a teenage girl's bedroom? - Dave]

Takeout please

Those chairs look like they were built for fast turnaround. Not very comfortable. Those glass cases put me in remembrance of the shop I used to visit as a young girl for pastries after school. My favorite was the custard-filled popover. That, with a cherry root beer from the drugstore soda fountain next door, and I was a happy girl. Got them for a nickel each. Those were happy days.

Specialty Sandwiches

I'm astonished that they don't have any Olive and Mayonnaise sandwiches. I thought they were all the rage!

Maybe one could order a "Cheese and Olive sandwich with mayo, hold the cheese." (Shades of Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces!)

Two Scoops of Austere, Please

This bakery-soda fountain has a really Spartan look to it; I've seen photos of others that were much more opulent, with carved wood and marble everywhere. There was even a soda fountain in Newark that featured an entire wall covered with a mural by Stuart Davis. But I suppose that all that really mattered was the tasty treats!

The mirror in the bakery

The mirror in the bakery case doubles the goodies. The mirror on the wall doubles the jars on top of the case and the tables. Why doesn't this wall mirror show the name of the shop in reverse? It seem strange to have the letters facing inwards. Or am I looking at it wrong?

[The bakery name is painted on the window glass, so it would be backward from inside the store. Unless you were looking at it reflected in a mirror, as is the case here. Simple, no? - Dave]

Bisque ice cream

Don't know why vanilla ice cream with nuts is called bisque (probably the same reason mint is called grasshopper in some food names) but here is how it is made:

Make custard as for Vanilla Ice Cream II, add one quart cream, one tablespoon vanilla, and one cup hickory nut or English walnut meats finely chopped

A la mode

I wonder what bisque ice cream is. Tomato? Also, wouldn't those scarf-draped lights have been a fire hazard?

Old But New

What a remarkable photo. If you cropped the right side to exclude the prices, the telephone, and the cash register, the cafe wouldn't look out of place anywhere today.

Chicken and lettuce sandwich, please

along with a raspberry ice. Mmmm.

Yeah, what *is* with the ice cream?

No maple syrup bacon?

Don't look down

It's a bright, cheerful place and I'd love to eat some ice cream there, but somebody really needs to mop that floor.

What's with the ice cream?

Doesn't anybody make a good stale peach anymore?

I want ... Everything in this picture!

OK, this is as close to middle-aged housewife porn as you can get. I want: the ice cream, something from that pastry display -- maybe one of those chocolate drenched monstrosities on the top shelf there.

I want to know why someone is hiding behind the door to the right there.

But, most of all, I want one of those table-and-chair sets. How cool is that? It's awesome! You can push all the chairs into that little table. The chairs have a most interesting shape to them.

I want!!!

Doc! Fire up the DeLorean, there's chocolate, pastries, ice cream and cool furniture!

Somebody's Watching Me

The face on the right behind the register -- eerie!

The man in the mirror

I wonder if that's Leon, of "Leon's Pastry Shop" fame.

[Or maybe it's Napo. - Dave]

I see the BLT wasn't invented yet

Check out the sandwich menu; they're so close! They had bacon and tomato, or lettuce and tomato, but they didn't get 'em all on the same bread.

[They did if you ordered the Club Sandwich. - Dave]

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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