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C.H. Javins: 1926

C.H. Javins: 1926

September 1926. "Thos. R. Shipp Co. -- C.H. Javins stand." The Charles Javins seafood stand in our second look today at Washington's old Center Market. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Where's the flypaper?

For this photo, as for the one of the meat purveyor, there are no coils of flypaper festooning the ceiling. Perhaps they removed them for the picture; or it was midwinter.

[What's the first word of the caption? - Dave]

Paper Cans

I believe you can see them in action right now if you peer into the ice cream cooler at any Baskin Robbins store. They have been in use there for a very long time. I remember a small advertising campaign there in the early 1960s in which they tried to encourage patrons to take home the hosed-out empties and reuse them as storage containers.

One suggestion for the frugal proto-Martha Stewarts and starving students was to cover them in wallpaper to make a decorative waste basket.

I will have to stop at a BR tonight for some field research to verify current use and see if the company noted still is the supplier.

[You can see them in the freezer case at your grocery store. "Paper cans" are the waxed cartons that ice cream is sold in just about everywhere. Also used as deli cartons for potato salad and such. - Dave]

This place looks exciting

I guess I'm getting old, but I remember my folks (mainly my dad) taking me to places that looked like this when I was little - busy, dirty, crowded with stuff everywhere. They were very exciting. Sometimes it was markets, like this, sometimes city streets with stalls and vendors, sometimes factories - working or abandoned. He liked old repair shops with spare parts everywhere. His shop in the basement was festooned with stuff everywhere like this place.

Sometimes we would get an outboard motor fixed, sometimes he would buy me a whole salami. It was always fun.

My mom only took me to clean, boring places.

Rooster Combs and Chicken Feet

For Noelani's reply, rest assured that the items in the title do not go to waste. Rooster combs are used to make a medicine called hyaluronic acid that is injected as a lubricant for osteoarthritis patients, some say it works, some say not sure. Chicken feet are used by multiple ethnic groups including Asians, Eastern Europeans, Africans, Latinos and others for delicious stocks, soups and regular eating and are not dirty because the outer skin on the chicken feet is removed (much like shrimp shells). Beneath that skin is juicy, fatty, very tasty chicken morsels and lots of bone. Very little, if anything, goes to waste among poor populations. I'm not sure about the beaks.

Paper Cans

Those boxes in the foreground are labeled "Paper Cans." What are those, and why don't we hear of them any more?

Center Market

C.H. Javins & Sons had been selling fish since at least 1882 in Washington. At Center Market in stalls 229-48 and 280-82 (1923 Polk directory). Possibly this is 229-48, since behind Javins appears to be Gus G. Gillespie, produce, who had 249-52. Likely that is Chas. W. Smith, produce, in 199-204 to the right of Gillespie. More here on Center Market at the bottom of the page, and here.

Today's Kicker

The kicker is there are thousands of markets, just like this one, operating today and tomorrow all around the world. And one doesn't need to travel all that far to find one: they are common in Central America.

Indeed this is how a great proportion of the population still does their daily shopping, along with a second trip out to the bakery.

Interesting is there usually is no strong "aroma" and the markets generally smell like your neighborhood butcher shop. Today, and probabl yesteryear as well, the markets are given thorough cleanings at the end of each day; after all, they must give a good impression to tomorrow's shoppers.

There may be some visual objections but I would rather enjoy that fish caught early this morning rather than one which has been sitting around a modern supermarket for a week.

85 years in the future

When Shorpy shows pictures of today’s meat and fish markets 85 years in the future. Won't be around to see that one, I wonder what comments will be made about today’s unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. I feel the comments will be similar to those previously posted.


E. coli!


Bet you didn't have to see Mr. Javins to know whether he was in church with you.

Fish or Meat

At last, I learn why there are no fish hamburgers.

Advertisement, Washington Post, Mar 17, 1924.

Differences and Similarities
Between Fish and Meats

Though fish and meats are commonly considered as different articles of food, they are nevertheless for nutritional purposes almost the same thing. The similarities are more striking than the differences. FISH will serve the purposes of MEAT in every particular and for an indefinite time. The choice is mainly in taste, price and variety.

Still, if argument need to presented, fish will be found there and ready. One difference to be noted is in the physical properties. The connective tissues of fish are gelatinous, and on brief cooking, without chopping or pounding become so tender as to fall to pieces. This fact alone explains the easy digestibility of fish. It also explains why there is no such thing as a fish hamburger: You don't need to grind it as a preliminary to chewing it.

FISH MEAT generally does not hold blood, and is therefore usually white. FISH has valuable minerals, vitamines and other constituents. Fish that are not too fat are always easily digestible.

In summary, the main fact from your point of view is that you can have a refreshing change to sea food, introduce variety into your diet, and be sure that your food is rich, wholesome, adequate and fully justified by scientific research. You will make no mistake by getting the sea-food habit.

If you want the best of Fish and Sea Foods, buy from the following wholesale and retail dealers, who are known for their fair prices and dependable service.

Center Market, B St. Wing, Main 8649

A mystery

I still can't figure out -- with all that great food so readily available back then, why was the life expectancy average so low? 'Tis quite the paradox.

Nearest the Fan

I'll have two fancy chickens, nearest the fan that's operating if you please. Somewhere along the way us modern folk must have lost our immunity to samonella.

Hangin' Out

The fish hung on the rod include an Atlancic salmon and four striped bass, the latter found in waters local to DC. The most interesting is the flatfish, an Atlantic halibut, a species now almost extinct. They were once plentiful throughout the north Atlantic all the way down to New Jersey, and are the largest of the halibut species. In addition to being quite tasty, the Atlantic Halibut was prized for its liver, which produced an oil rich in vitamins.

Chicken of the Sea

I always thought "Chicken of the Sea" referred to tuna.
Sorry, Charlie!

When did Americans get so wimpy?

Looking at this picture, from less than a century ago, with the whole chickens, heads, feet and all, makes me wonder when American got so wimpy about such things. I cooked chicken and beef hearts, chicken gizzards and all kinds of livers all those years my ex was in school, but I could never get near chicken feet and heads. Makes me kind of ashamed, really, that we Americans let anything like that go to waste.


Thanks, OTY! I knew that people all over the world used those parts, but I have never seen them offered for sale here in America. I have a recipe in The Black Family Reunion cookbook for chicken feet stew, but I don't even know where I would get the chicken feet, if I wanted to try it. African American women have always had a great talent for taking the parts that no one else wanted and making something tasty and nutritious for their families out of them!

The Center Market

Must have smelled like the rendering plant in this place. The stench must have knocked people down in the summer months. Thank God I was not around to visit this place.

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