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Crossing Thirteenth: 1939

Crossing Thirteenth: 1939

Spring 1939. "Waiting for stoplight in Washington, D.C." Medium format acetate negative by David Moffat Myers for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Two things left ...

at least I believe is the building on the corner behind the people. Though its been likely remodeled it is the same structure. Also the light post, albeit shortened with a new top

The streetlight pole

... is still there.

Re: F + 13th streets NW

The building in the foreground at the left of the picture is still there. Compare the corner of the building and the piece under the window, it's the same as in the new view.

Holy Cow Hats

I just noticed that almost everyone captured in this image is wearing a hat. I never knew they were so popular back in the late 1930's. Back then owning a hat factory was like owning the umbrella concession when pigs fly.

F + 13th streets NW

Erlebacher's was 1222 F Street; Shenley's hat shop was at 1221 F. There's not a single thing in the photo that's left now.

The honeymoon's over.

From the expression on their faces, I'd guess the two on the left had been together for TOO long!

On those shoes

If they were truly uncomfortable, I'd expect to see a few of these people rocking back and forth to ease the the soreness. Notice that only one lady is lifting a foot; everybody else is firmly planted. Also, the guy just to the left of the light pole wearing a tweed coat & sweater is wearing "suede bucs", an early version of what I grew up with as "Hush Puppies."

I've actually got a couple of pairs of shoes--Allen Edmonds--made on lasts/designs dating back to about this time, and they're great.

The good doctor

When studying marketing in school, I interviewed a old shoe-store manager in Miami who had been called upon by Dr. William Scholl.

He told me the doctor opened his briefcase, took out an articulated human foot skeleton, slapped it on the counter, and said, "As long as people, especially women, buy shoes based on style instead of anatomy, you and I are going to make a lot of money."

Judging from the expressions

I'm guessing most of these folks could use a Dr. Scholl's insert. At some point it became acceptable for people to wear sensible shoes with otherwise business/smart attire when going to and from their place of work. But I'm not sure when.

Portable camera being held by a woman?

Does it seem like the woman to the right of the tall man (on his left) in the center has both her handbag and a portable expanding camera hanging from her left arm?

[A "portable camera" -- i.e., a camera. - Dave]

Dave, shucks, thanks for the clarification - I was trying to be descriptive as more portable than the typical large format flashbulb-equipped, newspaper-type cameras with flash bulbs of that era. After some quick research it appears similar to a camera like an EASTMAN KODAK BROWN SIX-16 FOLDING FILM CAMERA.

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