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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Baby Bears: 1922

Baby Bears: 1922

Washington, D.C., January 1922. "517-19 Thirteenth Street." Another of those National Photo portal-to-the-past streetscapes that must have seemed very prosaic at the time they were taken. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

 

Class II

The car parked in front of the furrier is a 1920 Buick, either a model K-50 with a 124 inch wheelbase or a model K-47, 118 inch wheelbase. In 1920 Buick went to straight door handles compared to the loop handles of previous years.

In 1921 Buick revised the entire front of its cars and the hoods and radiators were much higher so that there was a straight line from the top of the radiator to the center of the windshield.

What was the function?

Of this type of photo? Was it for insurance purposes, real estate, or some other official documentation?

[Most of these seem to have been taken for the various Washington newspapers or their advertisers, to illustrate news stories or real estate listings. - Dave]

Harry's Final Curtain

Harry LeVan's long career in burlesque and vaudeville would eventually lead to work as an early television performer in Philadelphia. Here is his obituary from the Final Curtain notices in Billboard, published on November 24, 1950.

Same street in 1943

Here is a photo of the same street in 1943, after the Warner Theater was built. You can see the three of the buildings still there in this photo:

Baby Bear Burlesque

Washington Post, Jan 8, 1922

This Week's Attractions

Capitol - "Baby Bears."

A brand new burlesque show will be presented at the Capitol theater this afternoon when Lew Talbot's "Baby Bears" open their week's engagement. Founded on a snappy French farce, of which Mr. Talbot has purchased the exclusive American rights, the performance abounds in humorous situations and brilliant lines. A program of more than 20 musical and dancing numbers forms a background for the production.

The chief comedy role is in the hands of Harry S. Le Van, famous on the burlesque stage as a Hebrew comedian.

"Winter Front"

The Model T coupe has a genuine, designed for the purpose, "winter front". These were common in the days before thermostats, to keep heat in the engine - for the heater if you had one, otherwise for radiant heat. Notice the flaps for regulating the temp. Must have been a cold day since it is all buttoned up.

The touring car has to make do with an old horse blanket.

We have seen a number of cars in these pictures with two plates, one for DC and one for a neighboring state, but the T has two DC plates - one 1921 and the other 1922. Interesting that they have different numbers.

If only I knew

Gee, I wonder what will be showing at the Capitol the week of January 8th?

Class

There's a big difference between the car parked in front of the furrier and the ones in front of the print shop and "rooms to let."

Haven't seen a Shannon & Luchs sign, or heard the name, for a long time.

We mean business

  • Anita Stewart
  • Brewood
  • Eanet & Bacher
  • Gilda Varesi
  • Harry S. Levan
  • Jack Schular
  • Lew Talbot
  • Shannon & Luchs
  • Wineman

Blankets on the car radiators

Nowadays cardboard is used to accelerate warming of the engine in winter. I don't think I've seen blankets.

Also interesting that rear-view mirrors appear not to have been standard equipment, eleven years after being popularized by Ray Harroun, winner of the first Indy 500. Harroun, in turn, had seen one on a hansom cab in 1904.

Completely different today

This scene is 100% different today. All those buildings have been torn down and replaced. The only thing that hasn't seemed to have changed is the road grade.

Baby Bears!

A winter scene - snow on the streets and so cold they wrapped the radiators in blankets.

Two years later

The Warner Theater would by built on the corner near this location.

 
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