SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hecht's: 1925

Hecht's: 1925

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "New Hecht store, 7th and F Streets N.W." Many spectral pedestrians on view here, evidenced by an army of disembodied legs. Added bonus: The STOP/GO traffic cop. National Photo Co. View full size.

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It was a handsome building then and it still is. Not the least bit flashy, simple, well proportioned and elegant. Good to see that it's qualities were appreciated.

Long lost memories

Before department stores moved from downtown Washington to new-fangled suburban malls in the mid-50s, my mother would take me shopping at this Hechts, also to Woodward & Lothrop nearby. That was always a big deal: dresses and nice shoes, overcoats and hats in winter. Classy stores encouraged classy customers, I guess. Before Visa & Master Card, my mother had her Washington Shopping Plate, good at Woodies, Hechts, Raleighs, Jelliff, Kanns & Lansburgh. Starting around the late 60s through the 80s, those old department stores fell by the wayside - all are gone now. So sad.

Regarding escalators, when I was a small tot I almost pitched headfirst down one. Nearly 60 years later, when I approach that moving top step, my stomach still twists into a knot. Doesn't help I have macular degeneration and terrible depth perception now.

That corner is actually 7th & F Streets NW

That corner is actually 7th & F Streets NW.

One block away

This is at 7th & G Streets NW. Point of view is the present-day Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, looking to the South-East out a window, notice the stone along the right edge of the original photo.

The good old days at Hecht's

Not long after this picture was taken, my folks moved to Washington from Nebraska during the depression. (Yes, they avoided the crowds headed for California.) My mother quickly got a job at this Hecht's store, originally selling baby clothes. But when Hecht's installed the first escalators of any store in Washington, they found that customers were intimidated and afraid to use them. So my mother found herself assigned to ride the escalators all day, to show how safe and easy it was.

But one of the many, often self-inflicted, adventures in her life....

And today my day job is located only five blocks away. Small world.

Disembodied Legs

Like the bottoms of wheels, a leg on the ground does not have blurring forward motion.

Time for a photo

Never seen a clock wrong 4 times a day before!

You take a guess, 3:50 or 1:34.

Still Here!

Now known as Terrell Place.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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