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Meats Coke Fruits: 1942

Washington, D.C., circa 1942. "Car in front of Shulman's Market on N at Union Street S.W." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Louise Rosskam. View full size.

Washington, D.C., circa 1942. "Car in front of Shulman's Market on N at Union Street S.W." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Louise Rosskam. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

The Car is Not a Model A Ford

I have been restoring a Model A Ford for 12 years now, with a lot of study of the years they were built 1928-'31, and I was at first taken in by the similarities, however 1. there is no gas tank filler cap (which should be in the center of the windshield on the metal cowling) 2. the cowling shape is '30-31 3. the headlights are '28-29 on a Model A. 4. the hood stamping looks different, and length appears longer than an "A". Even after this, I can't identify the car. Cars built during these years shared many similarities in design.

Union Street

Union street is long gone. I found it on a map from 1893.

God bless Kodachrome

I'm always amazed and impressed with the Kodachrome shots shown here at Shorpy. Especially the large format shots in 4x5 and 8x10" formats. Kodachrome was tough to work with given its low ASA/ISO speeds but the sharpness was second to none. The reason that Kodachrome colors are SO stable and don't fade with age is because it was a "dye-additive" film as opposed to films like Ektachrome which were "dye-subtractive". Simply put, Kodachrome's colors were put onto the film during processing and were extremely stable and not prone to fading. Go look at a 50 year old Ektachrome and you'll see the result of dyes fading.

Cheap rent & Meow

Years ago when I was in college I rented an apartment above a store. I liked watching the world pass by below. Sometimes I could just stare out the window for thirty minutes, it made me feel like a cat.
--great photo.

Corner stores from the past

As a kid growing up in 1950s Baltimore, the corner stores were part of daily life. Embedded in the corners of block-long row houses, our stores were specialized: one provided groceries, another was a meat market; there was a bakery (oh, the smells!), and a pharmacy with an oldtime soda fountain.

Today, Baltimore's corner stores have been replaced by liquor stores or simply abandoned -- along with many of the row houses.

Many inner urban neighborhoods now complain of "food deserts".

It was a different world then.


It looks like the bottom of what might be an antenna on the roof. The photo pre-dates TV, but I didn't think they used rooftop antennas for radio.
Is that what it might be? Or is there something else more likely?

[Rooftop radio antennas go back to the 1920s, with many examples here on Shorpy. -Dave]

Herb's Market

I was born in D.C. 1941 and grew up living over my dad's grocery store, a DGS: Herb's Market, 621 Seventh Street N.E., between F and G.

Any photos around besides my few taken with my Brownie Hawkeye?

Buddy Shulman, the owner of the store in the photograph, was a "cousin" of my mother, or a relative of Buddy's. Also, I think related to Max Shulman.

Love these Old DC photos.

Love these Old DC photos. This one's getting close to the neighborhood of my great-great grandparents. They lived there in the 1870's - early 1900's. I'm looking for photos during that period in the vicinity of 1513 Half St., SW, 1506 First St., SW; 1342 & 1346 Half St. SE; 62 N. St., SE? My G-G-Grandmother, Mary E. Hunt and Sons Wallace and Newton Cornwell bought property between Half & 1st. Sts, and M & N Sts. SE. and had a brick making business there. My G-G grandparents James & Isabella Storey lived on the SW side of Half Sts. Their daughter Jane and Newton Cornwell married. They are my G-grandparents. We had know idea of them or where they lived until I recently started researching our family tree. Anyone who can help, my email is: I love this site!

New Excitement

Seeing these pictures of N and Union Streets has brought out a whole new range of excitement for my family. We were raised on N Street, at that corner, and spent all the wartime years living there, through all the blackouts and air raid drills, and day-to-day living. We got groceries at that store, played street football on that corner, played Kick the Can on those sidewalks, and lived harmoniously in the racially mixed neighborhood, not realizing at the time just how "rich" we really were. Thanks a million for producing those pictures.

Color Film from Kodak

Kodak's new color film for home photographers was first displayed and demonstrated, but not sold, in the "Palace of Photography" at the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego. It went on the market the following year. More than 400 natural color film processes were patented, and many of them marketed to the public, from the 1890s through the early 1930s, before Kodachrome dominated the market with its superior quality and relative ease of processing at Kodak labs.

So little has changed.

It's amazing, some of DC still looks so close to this that I could almost imagine this photo being taken today. In fact, I'm almost up for going to that corner to see if those building still stand. Even the painted blue is the same color you see almost everywhere today.

[Good luck finding that intersection. - Dave]


Why would people think that these were colorized? seriously, how dumb can you get? XD

So vibrant back then; I love the little boy just wandering about...

Rationing sticker

The windshield has a gas rationing sticker, the letter "A" on the passenger side. That was the basic gas allowance, "B", "C", etc, allowed more gasoline to be purchased by the car owner. I believe the "A" allowance was 5 gallons a week and ration stamps were required.

Pictures in the window

Not sure about old Adolph in the window of Shulman's Market, but I do recognize Il Duce - Benito Mussolini on the left side. Maybe and advertisement for some magazine or some sort of patriotic screed against the various "rats" the US was now at war with.

Soaped Windows

Looks like they "soaped" the car windows, too. Although it appears they used paraffin wax, not soap. It came in blocks and was used to seal the top of jams & jellies. Doesn't come off with water - you have to use gas or kerosene, or a razor blade. Kids caught doing this when I was young got the "pleasure" of removing it, too (not that I have any personal experience or anything... ;^)

And is that a picture of Hitler in the window?

The Car

You have the age right, make wrong. It's a 1931 Chevrolet. Wonderful shot, Shorpy!

Old color photos

This is such a magnificent photograph. I remember, as a child, assuming the whole world was colorless, since all the"old" photos I saw were b/w.

Here is a link to WW-I color photos, they are incredible.

The car

The car in this picture, a Model A Ford, is 10 to 12 years old.

N and Union: 1942

Wonderful shot. Colourised? Colorized? I sincerely doubt that anyone has that degree of virtuosity, although Photoshop ace Tom Maroudas comes pretty close. (See and for details.)

I remember reading an article by Andreas Feininger about the super qualities of Kodachrome when it was 10 ASA (ISO) and came in 8" X 10" format. Apparently, he took some Kodachrome pictures in that format back in 1937, and once developed he put them in a drawer in his darkroom where it was permanently dark and arid. In the '80s he was cleaning out his darkroom and found the perfectly preserved pictures is the same condition as they were over forty years before. The colours were vivid and the contrast had not changed. Amazing film. I hope that the digital medium can come within hailing distance of this marvelous film. (And as an advocate of digital, I am not holding my breath.)

Very nice scene

Nice, very nice shot. It's amazing how the image is sharp. How is the photographer that took it?

[Louise Rosskam died in 2003 at the age of 93 - Dave]

Color Pictures in 1942

At the date of this picture, color was widely available but was a premium process that was expensive. But if you've ever seen naval war footage of 1942 it's mostly in color because the Navy began using it, interestingly the Army in Europe didn't.

What short memories we have

Does anyone remember that The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939? The first movie shot in color was The Gulf Between (1917).


Someone soaped the windows -- scribbled on them with a bar of soap. What kids did back before spray paint. And thanks -- Shorpy loves you too!

Colors are

Colors are gorgeous!

Interesting to see the graffiti scratched into the store window. A store in this same location today would likely have the same vandalism.

Love Shorpy! An everyday stop for me now.

My God, I can't get over the

My God, I can't get over the quality of these....I don't think I've ever seen any color photos this old look as good as these do. If the year hadn't been posted, I would've thought these were taken on some recent movie set or whathaveyou. Absolutely gorgeous!

James clerk Maxwell

I read an account that maxwell stumbled into and 'lost' an apparent color process. Sorry it's an unsourced and unqualified assertion; i cannot remember where i saw that.. :( but that there is surviving examples

Love the car

Another great picture. Interesting to see how worn the car is.

By the way, do you have Prince Albert in a can? Then you better let him out!


I'm sorry, anyone thinking the color shots have been "colorized" must have issues with their vision.

You do understand though, this is not 2042. I'm just sayin'...."Shorpy - The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog" and all...not that I mind the color or the more "recent" pictures. They are all fascinating. Long live Shorpy!

Thanks for the color!

Never mind the color naysayers. The color photos are amazing. Keep 'em coming! :-)

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