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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Kay Jewelers: 1919

Kay Jewelers: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Kay Jewelry Co., 407 Seventh Street N.W." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Remodeled for new business

Remodeled is an understatement, though. This would be the same building shown here about a year earlier, when it was for rent. I wonder if the painless dentist was still upstairs.

Re: Off and On

I used to live in an apartment above an old storefront that had an ancient rotary switch in the same relative location, one day in conversation with the landlord I asked him what it was for.

The switch was wired to the overhead lights in the display windows. Back in the old days a "merchant policeman," what we'd call a security guard, would turn the lights off during his late-evening rounds.

Off and On

Note the pushbutton switchplates next to the door. What an odd location for such a thing.

Kay Jewelry Opens

It would appear that this was indeed an early branch of today's jingle spouting
Kay Jewelers. Also note the aptly named store manager.

Washington Post, Nov 21, 1919

Kay Jewelry Store to Open

Premises at 407 Seventh Street Are
Remodeled for New Business

The Kay Jewelry store, 407 Seventh street northwest, of of a chain of 26 stores operating in as many big cities, has remodeled the premises formerly occupied by the Columbia Shoe Company, and will open Monday, November 24, with a complete line of fine diamonds, watches and jewelry.

M.S. Goldnamer, secretary and treasurer, who will manage the Washington store, was for many years the manager of the National Furniture Company and late sales manager of the Hub Furniture Company.

Very Romantic inspiration

ready to become a story. World War I is over, there is snow on the ground and a Christmas tree in each window, igniting a festive and holiday spirit among the bling and sparkle. Perhaps it is a minute to closing time on Christmas Eve. Use your imagination and create a tale. Shorpy writers have great literary ability as seen in former wonderful inspirational photos. I love this picture.

Makes me want to

run around photographing old stores at night!

O Kay?

The fact that you can recite it tells me that this "slogan" is working quite nicely!

Awesome Photo

Symmetry, nighttime exposure. Great photograph. These old pros certainly knew what they were doing.

Every kiss begins with Kay

Is this the forerunner of the retail giant that we know today? The 900 store Kay Jewelers, according to the company's website, was founded in 1916 in Pennsylvania. Was this part of its expansion or just another K?

Horrible Slogan?

I wonder if this is the same "Kay Jewelers" that uses that horrible slogan "Every kiss begins with Kay..." That little jingle is the worst. If I had to buy jewelery every time I wanted a kiss or gave a kiss than I am both dating the wrong girl and going broke!

[I think it's a rather clever slogan. "Kiss" begins with K. Get it? - 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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