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F Street: 1908

F Street: 1908

Washington, D.C., circa 1908 "F Street, looking toward Treasury." Note the sign on the Lincoln Park streetcar advertising the "hydraulic dive" at Glen Echo. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Union Trust

I think that must be Union Trust Company on the left and Rich's Shoes on the right at 10th. I look at these and think that my great-grandmother could have been in the crowd, or my grandmother or her siblings.

What a dress

I love the dress that the motion blurred woman right in front (behind?) the trolley is wearing... The feathery pattern must have been beautiful and colorful. I'll take a one-way ticket into that image please! (Yeah, I watched 'Midnight in Paris' but still have an illogical feeling that certain times and places in the past were better than now.)

Hydraulic slide

I visited Glen Echo in the summer of 1951. The swimming pool was a quarter mile across and easily held a thousand kids. It had a water slide three stories high. I don't remember a name but this must have been the "Hydraulic Dive". The dimension asserted are the perceptions of an 11-year old. In the summer of 1952 Glen Echo was closed (at least to me). Polio scare.

The location of the photograph and a little history

This was taken from the steps of what is now The National Portrait Gallery what was the Patent Office.

The building on the right and the one on the left are still there as are 50% of the buildings you see down F St.

There is a Wikipedia entry on the large building on the left

Currently they have a Gordon Biersch on the 9th St. level and the rest of the building is a Marriot Courtyard and the building on the righrt across F St. is a McCormick and Schmick's

Street level flags

The horse exhaust piles, AKA road apples - why do you suppose some are marked with a flag?

[Those are piles of excavated debris. See enlargement in the first comment. - tterrace]

Hydraulic signage?

Was that even a word in 1908? But seriously now, I think it reads "WYNDALE LANE GLEN ECHO," IMHO.

[The Hydraulic Dive was a roller coaster at the Glen Echo amusement park. - tterrace]

Summer in the city

It looks like a typically hot summer's day, long before air conditioning was commonplace. Notice that all the street-level businesses along the north side of F Street have canvas awnings, while those on the shady south side have none. Could the unopened awnings on the Patent Office windows (foreground) have been folded up in anticipation of the window cleaner?

Where are the automobiles?

In 1908 I would have expected to see at least a few automobiles. There may be one in the far distance, but it is difficult to be sure.

I have always been fascinated with how quickly the transistion from horse drawn vehicles to motor vehicles took place as documented in photos of the early 20th century.

Nice vantage point

This wonderful photo was taken from the grand staircase at the Patent Office Building, part of which is visible on the far right. But you can't stand there today for a then-and-now photo. The steps were torn out in the 1930s as part of an effort to smooth out the dogleg on F Street, visible here. The Smithsonian has supposedly agreed to restore the steps, but there's no sign that project is going to start any time soon.

Great details!!

Love the details in this photo -- as well as in so many of the others you post here on Shorpy. Note the man washing the window on the second story of the building in the far right hand of the picture. And, if you look directly up F Street to the Treasury Building, it looks like they're doing some major repair on the top of the building over a portion of the front columns.

Now What Are You Going to Do with It?

Looks like the sanitation engineer has amassed several large piles of "horse exhaust." What happens now?

[Looks more like a construction project. - tterrace]

That may be, but Washington, D.C. has been piling up crap for years, so I was a little confused!

[My first clue was the flags on tops of some piles, making me think, "Ah, road work." Then the large light-colored chunks in the piles, and the fact that they're adjacent to rectangular holes opened in the pavement by the tracks. - tterrace]

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