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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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To Good Hope Hills: 1924

To Good Hope Hills: 1924

        UPDATE: The mystery has been solved!

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "No caption." Paging any of the boys in this photo: Explain yourselves! National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

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Wear Your Caps

Thanks to the sleuthing of our clever commenters, the mystery has been solved! These lads ("Washington white boys" -- cringe) were participants in a "business field day" promoting an Anacostia subdivision called Good Hope Hills, whose sales office was in the basement behind them. Below: Ad from the August 6, 1924, Washington Post.

Caps Aplenty

Have you noticed all the extra hats the kids in front of the bicycle have? Are they recruiting more boys to go to Good Hope Hills? Or were they expecting more to show up?

Field of Hopes

How about a healthy summer activity like a field day?

Anchors aweigh!

It's almost certain that the photo was taken at 1406 H St., N. W. which was the location of the offices for the Cunard and affiliated steamship lines. I am wondering if this might not be significant to the back-story here. Perhaps they were traveling somewhere for a youth baseball tournament?


The sign behind the kid at the right includes the phrases "LOTS SOLD" and "WE BUILD".

Too Good Hope Hills

Not to be confused with.

Local Camp?

I'm wondering if there was some kind of camp in the Good Hope section of DC that these boys were going to.

The fact that they are in front of a travel agent might also have some bearing.

One Possibility

Perhaps fund raising for the orphanage?


Beyond the fact that Good Hope Hills is a neighborhood of DC located in Anacostia, it truly is a mystery as to what these boys are doing. One could speculate that it might be some kind of contest (they could be paperboys) with the winners getting a cruise on the Cunard lines. As for getting anyone in the picture to explain just what it is they are doing, I'm doubting the odds of any of them being alive to tell the tale on this one.

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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