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Waterfront Property: 1935

Waterfront Property: 1935

September 1935. A closeup of the Washington, D.C., row house seen here over the weekend. "Front of old brick structure in section near Union Station. Land is low here and water collects in front and backyard after a rain and remains for many days. Entrances to privies are usually under water. Interior of homes similar in shabbiness to exterior." 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Well Disciplined

My kids would have been wet already.


This part of town historically was called Swampoodle and got that name because of the large puddles that would form after rains. A tributary of Tiber Creek flowed south through here to meet up with the city canal, and it was very prone to flooding.

Indoor Pool too?

Surely the four children on the left are sitting on a cellar door? And if the yard is as poorly drained as this, that cellar is doubtless more or less flooded much of the time. The interior of the entire house must be moldy and damp in the hot, humid environment of the District's summer.

The caption implies no indoor plumbing -- I wonder if they have central heat? We tend to forget what a hard life people lived even a realtively short time ago.

Definition of Temptation

Four lively kids trying to be good, but there is nothing to play with. Although the boys look determined to stay clean and dry, I believe the little girl has already decided to go ahead and succumb to her inspired plans and will get the ball rolling, as she is already on her way.

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