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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Gasoline Alley: 1926

Gasoline Alley: 1926

Washington, D.C., 1926. "Ford Motor Co." The McReynolds & Sons garage, L Street at Vermont Avenue. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

 

Fordson

Do you know how much Ford did for Russia? Fordson tractors are really well-known here. They really helped in 1920-s before russians started make their own tractors. (And likely by US licenses).

Farming in D.C.

There was farming in southeast Washington at least through the 1930s. A real estate attorney I used to work for had old photos of D.C. decorating his office - and I was surprised to see pictures of farming in Southeast.

As the land was so valuable, the farms didn't survive the postwar building boom.

As for the proximity of farms to D.C. these days, there is an agricultural research facility just outside the District line in PG County. But as it's a USDA government-run operation, it doesn't count as a farm. For a farm with real working farmers, you'd have to go out much farther away.

Horsepower

The Ford service center was a former stable. Check out the hay doors.

R. McReynolds & Sons


Washington Post, Apr 23, 1922

Rearrange Building For Auto Department

R. McReynolds & Sons to Distribute
Willys-Knight and Overland Cars to Capital.

Extensive improvements, including almost and entire rearrangement of the interior of the building are being made by R. McReynolds & Sons, 1423 L street northwest, recently appointed sole distributors in this territory for Willys-Knight and Overland cars.

William E. McReynolds, vice president and active head of the company expects to have one of the finest and most convenient automobile distributing and service stations in this part of the country when improvements are completed, and his plans are to give exceptional service on the Overland and Willys-Knight line of cars.

The new service department was opened the first of the week in the rear of the building. It is equipped with every facility for giving superior service. Cars of all makes will be taken care of and the owners of the Willys-Knight and Overlands will find a complete line of parts always on hand.

R. McReynolds & Sons need no introduction to the people of Washington, as they have been in business here as coach and auto body builders for the last 20 years. This end of their business will be continued and enlarged to meet the demand, virtually giving the company a complete plant for repair work of every kind of automobile.

Adding to the endless chain of obsolescence...

Willy-Knight, Overland and Nash - say hello to "Saturn"!

Lincoln-Ford-Fordson

That's a wide spectrum for one dealership to cover. How close to farm country was L St and Vermont Ave in 1926? How close is the nearest farm today?

Go Tractors!

Fun fact:
The Tractors is the mascot of Fordson High School, Dearborn Michigan

Clientele

Fordson was a farm tractor line sold by Ford during this general period. Hard to imagine farmers going into the heart of D.C. to check out a new tractor!

Hits Home

It is early evening. It is a Friday night. I am still at work (alas) in an office that overlooks the corner of L Street and Vermont Avenue. 83 years have gone by, and there is still a row of cars -- now stuck in traffic -- looking to escape the city for the weekend.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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