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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Federal Auto: 1917

Federal Auto: 1917

Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Federal Auto Supply Co., Pennsylvania Avenue." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Tire Trollop

That appears to be the Kelly Girl in the left door. An infamous ad from 1910 showed her sitting on a Kelly tire and exposing her ankles! It was a huge controversy.

Dairy Lunch Redux

Oh, of course! Duh! Thank you! To differentiate themselves from the "free lunch" offered by bars, as a respectable eating place. I suppose the "family lunch" places we've seen advertised in some photos had the same idea.

Dairy Lunch

I always assumed, when I saw "dairy lunches" mentioned in old novels, that it meant the same thing in gentile circles that it does in Jewish ones -- that is, a restaurant that doesn't serve meat. Looking at this photo, I'm getting the idea that I might have been wrong about that. Either that or this is the craziest kosher restaurant ever! So what is a dairy lunch, anyway?

[The "dairy lunch room" came to prominence in the late 19th century, offering fast food for white-collar workers. The name signified "not a saloon" as much as it did the contemporary fad for malteds, shakes and ice cream. Dairy bars found new popularity with the rise of the temperance movement and advent of Prohibition. A lot of these places were former taverns. - Dave]

Re: Eh?

Unless it was 477 Penn Ave SE, which would put it behind the capital about halfway to Eastern Market. Some surviving buildings in that neighborhood are reminiscent of these buildings.

[This is 477 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest. - Dave]

The Dairy Lunch today

The Court Street Dairy Lunch still exists in Salem, Oregon. A luncheon based on dairy products must have been considered particularly healthsome.

A Legless Veteran

Given the dating of the picture as "circa 1917" I think it's reasonable to suppose that the legless man might be a World War I veteran injured in the War.

[He's an old man, so he would not be a WWI vet. - Dave]

Eh?

477 would be right about where the Canadian Embassy is now.

The legless beggar

Did the photographer mean to make a social statement with this picture? Probably not, considering racial attitudes back then. But a legless black beggar one door away from a good hot 25-cent meal sure hit me between the eyes.

Interchangeability

Hm. Ford Parts next door to Ford Lunch -- maybe I don't wanna know.

Today's Query

Anyone know where I can get some hot rolls?

Lunch

Been a while since I've had liver and onions for any meal let alone lunch. I'll spring for the small steak for man in need at the drug store. Any idea what the hose near the curb might have been for?

 
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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