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Stepping Out: 1922

Stepping Out: 1922

Washington, D.C., 1922. "NO CAPTION (women on street)." One in a series showing spring fashions at Easter. This trio is going places with a camera and a banjo. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Thank you, Malted Falcon

During the 60's (high school and undergad years), I bought, refurbished and sold stringed instruments as a way to supplement my always-meager income. I had 4 of these during those years, but never realized they had a real name or history. Just checked my downstairs closet..still have one! This is why I look at Shorpy every day...what a great community.

Finger Purse

A finger purse

Film suggestion

I believe that the roll of film is 116 film with a wooden spindle. That would suggest the Brownie is a No. 2A Model B. I have several in my collection. The 116 film is slightly larger than the 120 film. It was replaced in the early 30s with 616 film.


That was what my grandmother called it. I have a set of snapshots she took, with captions, when she and a friend spent an afternoon in 1918 "Kodaking around town."

My wife's grandmother

Whenever I see photos of women during this time I imagine my wife's grandmother, who was born in 1900. In this particular photo I was especially taken down that imaginary trail since my wife's grandmother's sister played a similar instrument, a tenor banjo, which I inherited.

Film bearer

The young lady on the left is carrying either a fresh roll or an exposed roll of film for that Kodak Model 3. Most probably a 127 roll, or possibly 120.


The one at center appears to have a purse? Dropping from her left hand? What is that?

A Banjolele

It's going to be fun

In the true spirit of the 20's, with a Kodak and a banjo-uke along. Can't tell what the flapper on the left has in her left hand, but a portable Victrola would have seemed right at home!

As seen previously

As usual, our intrepid Harris & Ewing photographer simply stepped outside the F Street studio to shoot a photo. In this one (taken looking east), we see 13th & F NW in the background. At right is 1228 F St., the original Garfinckel's. (I posted a detail of the latter, along with 2 of these lovelies, last year.)

Also visible, albeit blurrily, is the Globe-Wernicke Building's sign between Garfinckel's & the lamppost.

On the Sidewalk to Perdition

And here we see the beginning of the decline of Western Civilization, as skirt hems migrate northward and young women openly carry instruments of sin like banjos and box cameras on our streets.

It is fortunate, indeed, that my first impression was incorrect and the girl in the center is not actually taking a deep, satisfying drag on a Fatima or Sweet Caporal, for that would herald the imminence of Armageddon itself!


The girl in the middle looks ahead of her time, no frills and frou frou, but the other two are also cute!

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