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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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Miriam: 1924

Miriam: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Miriam Auerbach." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

A beautiful picture

of a beautiful girl who became a lovely woman.

I'm so glad that her son found this picture here today. I love seeing the pictures of Washington on Shorpy because I feel like I'm seeing a snapshot of the city my parents grew up in. It makes me feel closer to them in a strange way. I can only imagine how he felt when he saw this photo of his mother.

I was wondering if she was related to basketball icon Red Auerbach, who my dad's basketball coach at Roosevelt High School in DC in the early 1940s.

Kirby Krackle

I love the speckling of the negative, it adds a sort of visual energy to the picture. It looks like the chalice is erupting with mystical energy --how Jack Kirby would depict energy in comic books. The "Kirby Krackle," they call it.

Working Hands

I would like to know what this child did to have such hard working hands at the age of 12. This is wonderful to read a bit of history of the photo subject AND have comments from family members.

Johnny, Chris and Junior

It's interesting that she was involved in Jewish charities, but obviously went in the polar opposite direction of any Hebraic traditions when naming her three sons. The children of the original wave of Jewish immigrants were evidently anxious to assimilate and blend into American society.

To put a name to a face

brings a new dimension to these wonderful photos.

I always feel rather sad when Googling doesn't find just a bit of information to make the subject more "real."


My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Wolf. My mother had a cousin named Miriam Wolf. However, she was a radio performer -- an actor on the radio show "Let's Pretend," usually playing a witch. My mother also had a cousin who married a man named Legum. They lived in Norfolk.

My mother as a young girl

My first-cousin-once-removed Henry Brylawski (age 96) let me know that this picture was posted on the site, and I am so grateful to have this image of my mother as a 12 year old. What a beauty! Her granddaughter, also named Miriam (age 17), inherited her beauty.

[Thank you for writing! It's always interesting to hear from descendants or acquaintances of the people depicted in these photos. Can you tell us anything about the circumstances of this particular picture? Also what about the Auerbach family -- was it connected with the Joseph Auerbach clothing store on Pennsylvania Avenue? - Dave]

Her life story

Pattyanne, I agree. I too wonder what their lives were like. I finally joined Shorpy today because of this story. I have been enjoying this web site for a long time.

Reconstructing the narrative

Looks like Miriam won some sort of award having to do with a charity drive sponsored by Andrews Paper. Maybe she collected the most donations.

R.P. Andrews Paper Co.

The company was at 727 Thirteenth Street NW. The only thing of note I could find is that Louis F. Valentine, the company's Secretary-Treasurer, and his wife were killed in the collapse of the Knickerbocker Theater on January 30, 1922.


I always wonder what lives people in these pics led. Always curious!!

Miriam Auerbach Wolf, 1912-1978

Washington Post, April 18, 1978.

Miriam A. Wolf, 65;       
        'Million Dollar' Realtor

Miriam Auerbach Wolf, 65, a retired real estate executive and the first woman to become a life member of the "Million-Dollar Sales Club" of the Washington Board of Realtors, died of cancer Sunday at her home in Bethesda.

Mrs. Wolf began her real estate career in 1957. At the time of her retirement in 1976 for reasons of health, she was associate manager for Legum & Berber. She was the recipient of several awards from the Board of Realtors for her residential transactions.

In addition to her business activities, Mrs. Wolf was founding president of the Montgomery County chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women. She was also the first president of the Montgomery County Thrift Shop, the proceeds of which benefit various charities.

During the Eisenhower Administration she served on the advisory committee of the President's Council on the Handicapped.

Mrs. Wolf was born in Washington and graduated from the old Central High School. She was a French teacher at Georgetown Day School in the 1950s before beginning her real estate work.

Survivors include her husband, Alexander Wolf Jr.; three sons, Alexander III of Sykesville, Md., John, of Baltimore, and Christopher, of Bethesda; and one grandchild.

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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