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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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8th and K: 1923

8th and K: 1923

Washington, D.C., circa 1923. "Hopwood furniture, 8th and K." A slice of life from the intersection of Then and Now. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Double Exposure

Has anyone else noticed the double exposure in this photo? Right behind the parked car there is a woman holding a baby.

[This is a long exposure, not really a double exposure. There are many others to be seen here on Shorpy, populated by legions of ghost pedestrians. - Dave]

Heh, I work there now.

I'm in the bit linking the two buildings in the Street View. Seriously.

Thank you, Charlene!

Now to find a jar of pimientos, because that sounds great.

Re: Old 54

I thought it odd as well that '54' would be considered one of the oldest businessmen in Washington. Nonetheless, I double-checked the Washington Post article and also verified the age from census records. I think the hyperbole could be more a testament to his many years in business rather then his age.

Old 54

Could Mr. Hopwood, at age 54, really be one of the oldest businessmen in D.C.? Age 84 seems more like it.

Melvin Hopwood

Washington Post, May 23, 1924

Melvin H. Hopwood, Business Man, Dies

Was Identified With Movements for
Betterment of the City

Melvin H. Hopwood, 54 years old, one of the city's oldest business men, died yesterday at his home 1101 Florida avenue northeast, after an illness of 14 weeks.

For nearly 30 years Mr. Hopwood conducted the furniture store at Eighth and K streets northwest. He was identified with all movements for the betterment of the city and was prominent in the Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Douglas Memorial M.E. Church, eleventh and H streets northeast.

He was born in Frederick, Md. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Betty Hopwood, two daughters, Mrs. Daisy Thour, of this city, and Mrs. Edna Sanford, of Miami, Fla.: two sons, Thomas E., and Mason, and to grandchildren, Anna Mae Thour and Betty Brown Sanford.

Funeral services will be held at his home at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The Rev. J.O. Wrightson will officiate. Interment will bin the Fort Lincoln cemetery.

Washington Post, Jun 1, 1924

Melvin H. Hopwood, who died May 22, left an estate valued at $100,000 according to the petition for letters testamentary filed yesterday by his widow, Mrs. Battie L. Hopwood, who is named sole beneficiary in the will. The estate includes his home at 1101 Florida avenue northeast.

"Authentic" recipe

"Mays" was a common 19th century abbreviation of mayonnaise. Pimiento mayonnaise is a much older item than the Bealls' restaurant chain, and probably dates from the 1700s. Their recipe is no more "authentic" than anyone else's.

Pimiento mayonnaise is delicious. Here's a recipe from a Louisiana cookbook I own that was printed in 1895:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup fresh pimiento peppers*, seeded, chopped, and steamed or simmered until very soft, then cooled, minced finely, and crushed in a mortar and pestle
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
2 tbsp minced parsley
zest of one lemon, minced
Salt to taste
Tabasco Sauce to taste

Drain crushed pimientos and reserve any liquid. Add pimientos to mayonnaise with other ingredients and whisk to blend. Adjust thickness with reserved pimiento liquid if necessary. Serve immediately.

I use bottled pimientos, well-drained, and I blend the ingredients together using an immersion blender. This saves having to mince everything and it produces a smoother product.

Still on the menu

Their deli menu is pretty much what is available today at most supermarkets. Back then roast chicken was $1.25 to $1.75; today it will be around $5.90 to $7.90 at the stores where I shop. Don't see fried chicken, though; good friend chicken is hard to find. I guess these menus count as good old American cooking.

I have not had a pimento cheese sandwich in a long time. Memories of my grandmother, who could make pimento cheese but couldn't fry chicken to save her life, but my mother certainly could. Her big cast iron skillet was the one thing everyone wanted to inherit.

"Bring Bucket"

I am so sad. Nowadays, to what fine food purveyor may you bring a bucket to fetch you some clam chowder? (See ad below.)

Broadway Deli

Washington Post, Jul 17, 1927

Largest Delicatessen in D.C.

Broadway Co., Now Doing $100,000
Business, Had Small Start.

In June 1918, William E. Beall started the Broadway Delicatessen in a small basement room at the corner of Eighth and I streets, just a little more than a block from his present location. At the time he was "boss," and the only employee. A little more that a year later Beall opened at 714 K street northwest, paying a rental of $250 monthly. His gas bill alone as $150 a month, and now he employs 25 people.

Six years later Mr. Beall bought the building at the corner of Eighth and K streets northwest, remodeling and fixtures amounting to $25,000. The business has more than doubled itself in his new home. In volume, he is doing more than $100,000 annually, and asked what he attributed his success, Mr. Beall said, "Experience. Without experience, capital would have been very little good to me."

Broadway Delicatessen Store

This class of puddings you cannot make
yourself for 30¢ a pound.


Why Cook This Hot Weather?


To Improve a Club Sandwich,
Add a little "Pimiento Mays"


I hope ...

that someone points the Bealls' descendants in this direction and one of them can look up the *authentic* recipe for pimiento mays. I'd eat it. Hell, I'd buy it.

Pimiento Mays

Sounds like the ideal condiment to make that iconic Southern sandwich spread, pimento cheese.

Details, for non-Southerners, from a source near that site:


On a recent trip to Washington, I was struck how, for such an historic city, the downtown area is quite lacking in period detail. The area depicted in this, and a few recent Shorpy posts, is evidence of that. So much has been replaced with huge, modern office towers.

You really get no sense of the city's true age, when, with few exceptions, the only prewar structures are the obvious and overscrubbed government buildings. I sure wish more blocks like this one still existed.

[Right across from the buildings in our photo is the ancient D.C. public library. Also you will want to tour period-rich Anacostia. - Dave]

I find the ghost...

... with the child looking at the deli (is it a boy with a cap?) to be particularly touching. Quite likely they are both literally ghosts now.


Pimiento Mays

A quick Google search turns up nothing for "pimiento mays." If it was a manufactured product, rather than a signature recipe of the Broadway Delicatessen Stores chain (?), it was an awful obscure one.

[Google doesn't do 1923 very well. But I'll bet it's there now. - Dave]

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