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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Harris & Ewing: 1924

Harris & Ewing: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Harris & Ewing. Exterior, new studio." The new offices of "America's studio beautiful" opened in November 1924 at the same F Street address as the previous building (whose ground-floor tenant, Lucio's jewelry store, was the scene of a robbery/arson/suicide-by-cyanide shortly before the building was remodeled). The basement storage vault was said to have held a million glass negatives, the bulk of which were donated to the Library of Congress in 1955. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Used to work in the building

I worked in the building for 3 years. The 2nd - 4th floor of both buildings are now office space. When the previous tenant moved into 1313 F in the later 90s, they found a bunch of old negatives that belonged to Harris & Ewing.

[And did what with them?? - Dave]


Below is the identical view taken in April of 2010. However, the occupant now deals in food instead of film.

America's Studio Beautiful


True Crime

Washington Post, May 26, 1924.


Police Say Berman Had No Right in Store;
Suspect Robbery Aim


Doctor Discerned Walking About in
Flames and Smoke; Had Office There.

Dr. Lewis Berman, 36 years old, an optician, fell dead when placed under arrest early yesterday, a moment after he escaped from an explosion and fire which wrecked Lucio's jewelry store at 1313 F street NW.

Policemen Davis and Helms, of the First precinct, were standing at Fourteenth and F streets, about five minutes after 3 when an explosion occurred and the plate glass window of the jewelry store was shattered.

When they reached the store they found its exterior filled with flame and smoke through which they saw a man running back and forth. Davis called upon him to come out, but he was seen falling to the floor and crawling under a showcase. The policeman then brandished his revolver and threatened to fire, hoping to frighten the man into coming out.

Firemen Smash in Door.

A few moments later firemen smashed in the door with axes, and Dr. Berman ran out. As Policeman Davis arrested him, Dr. Berman told the officer, "I had a right to be in there." He repeated this several times, it is said, and then collapsed. When taken to Emergency hospital, he was pronounced dead.

Dr. Berman until Wednesday, it is said, had offices in the rear of the jewelry store. On that day he had sold out his interest to Mrs. Margaret Perkinson, who conducted the jewelry business.

Earl Perkinson, husband of the proprietor, was in the store until about 10:30 o'clock Saturday night. He placed diamonds and the receipts for two days' business in the safe, locked the store and left it.

Dr. Berman, according to police, occasionally went into the store, through courtesy, and had left there about 7 o'clock. Later in the evening he registered at a Turkish bath, but did not occupy his room there, police say. The next event was the explosion.

Police declare in their belief that an attempt was made to rob the store and a fire started to "cover up" the robbery. A duplicate key was found in Berman's pockets. He had no right to the key, police say.

Wife Can't Believe It.

When Mrs. Berman was informed of her husband's death by Mrs. Perkinson, she cried out, "Oh, I can't believe it, I can't believe it."

At the hospital she said that her husband probably, in passing the store, had seen burglars there and had entered to rout them.

Mrs. Berman has a daughter seven years old. The Berman residence is at the Home apartments, Seventh and K streets northwest.

An inquest will be held at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon to determine the cause of Dr. Berman's death. His clothing had not been burned, and it is thought he died from inhaling smoke and flames.

Washington Post, May 27, 1924.


Optician Took Large Dose of Cyanide
Of Potassium, Chemist Finds.


Wife Holds He Entered Shop to Get
Eyeglasses Left There for Repair.

A large dose of cyanide of potassium, self administered, caused the death of Dr. Lewis Berman, 36-year-old optician, who expired Sunday morning a moment after he had dashed out of the flame and smoke that enveloped Lucio's jewelry store, 1313 F street northwest.

This was the verdict yesterday of a coroner's jury which brought out these additional declarations:

The fire in Lucio's store was as was of incendiary origin.

Dr. Berman, who until Wednesday had rented space in the store, had no right in the store at that time of the morning, nor had he been authorized to have the key found in a pocket of his clothes.

The coroner's jury based its verdict of suicide on the testimony of Dr. S.C. Moton, assistant District chemist, who told of having found evidence is in the dead man's stomach of a large quantity of cyanide poisoning.

Police last night advanced the theory that Dr. Berman swallowed the poison the moment after he saw Policeman Davis at the door. It was pointed out that cyanide is a quick acting poison, and in view of the quantity taken, Berman could not have taken it much sooner.

None of the jewelry or other stock in the store was touched, so far as is known. A leather case left at the store by a Baltimore man, however, had been moved from a place behind the safe to a counter near the door. When it was placed behind the safe it was unwrapped. When found after the fire it was inclosed in newspapers and tied with heavy twine. The case contained watches and other jewelry.

Mrs. Berman, widow of the optician, at the inquest said: "I believe he wanted to get a pair of glasses which had been left for repairs by Abe Friedenberg."

Mr. Friedenberg, who lives at 3517 Fourteenth street northwest, concurred in this belief. He said that he had asked Dr. Berman to turn the glasses over to him before Sunday so that he would have them to read the Sunday newspapers.

Following the inquest yesterday, Dr. Berman's body was sent to Baltimore for burial.

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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