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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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The White Menace: 1939

The White Menace: 1939

January 14, 1939. "National Capital digs out after storm. Nearly five inches of snow blanketed Washington yesterday, followed by sleet. Icy steps made the going to and from the Capitol difficult until workmen arrived this morning and scraped away the menace." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

As little a 1/4" causes mass dementia

Here in Northwest Washington DC it's known as "White Death From Sky." The natives celebrate its irregular appearance by suspending all vehicular etiquette and buying large quantities of bread and milk.


Here's an updated visual.

And the News from today

showed us a view of these same steps during the night of Feb 5/6, 2010, with go carts and snowmobiles driving up the almost invisible steps after they were covered by close to two feet of snow dumped by (so far) the snowstorm of the century.

What a sight, both then, and now!


Having a bit of bother at this moment with the white stuff, eh what Dave?

And now

Washington is digging out from a 20-inch snowfall. Fourth-greatest on the record books. Paralyzing, but not approaching the 29 inches of the 1922 "Knickerbocker storm."

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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