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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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Lanza Motors: 1920

Lanza Motors: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Lanza Motors Co., exterior, 14th Street." Lanza Motors sold a car called the Metz; neither would be long for this world -- a world whose sidewalks were trod by ectoplasmic pedestrians. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Ghostly Motion

If you look very closely, on front of the buffet and the corset shop, there are apparently disembodied feet on the sidewalk. I'd be interested to know how long the exposure was, for the people to be almost entirely invisible.

[These are the "ectoplasmic pedestrians" mentioned in the caption. Exposure time would be around one or two seconds. - Dave]

Metz Master 6

Great photos thank you Dave for sending the information to We have shared it with our members.

Also here is a Google Street View of the site today. The Frank D. Reeves Center for Municipal Affairs is located on the site now.

View Larger Map

Forget the Metz...

I'd love to see the inside of the La Pricesse corset shop!

Metz Master Six

Washington Post, Feb 1, 1920.


Lanza Motor Co. Opens Salesroom
On Fourteenth Street.

The Lanza Motors Company has opened a salesroom at 2008 Fourteenth street northwest for the sale of the Metz motor cars. The Metz is one of the oldest cars on the market, but up to this year they have built [only] a friction drive car.

This year's model is a six-cylinder model with the standard type of transmission and gear shift. The car is built in four models, a five-passenger touring, three-passenger roadster, two-passenger coupe and five-passenger sedan.


Anyone know what the boardwalk in the street is for?

[It's a streetcar boarding platform. - Dave]

Metz Friction Drive

The earlier models of the Metz car used a unique continuously variable ratio transmission. It had a rubber-tired wheel that ran perpendicular to a huge machined flywheel on the motor. The driver operated a lever that changed the location of the driven wheel on the flywheel. When the driven wheel was dead center on the flywheel, that was neutral. As the driven wheel moved away from center in one direction an infinite number of forward ratios could be achieved. When the driven wheel moved away from center in the opposite direction an infinite number of reverse ratios could be achieved!

While Metz Drive died in passenger car use, it was used on garden tractors for many years (and still may be). This clever transmission was limited in its ability to handle loads. It also had durability issues.

We'll Save Money On The Rent!

An automobile showroom that's too small to hold even one floor model seems to have been a mistake. Unless the Metz 6 could really drive through those front doors.

[The Lanza Motors showroom (below) held at least five cars. - Dave]

Very modern bay window

The window showing off the brass beds is quite modern looking; too bad the Metz didn't look as good. And where is the actual showroom for the dealer?

[Behind the doors. - 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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