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All Business: 1908

All Business: 1908

Washington, D.C., circa 1908. "F Street N.W. from Treasury Dept." At right, the Ebbitt House hotel at F and 14th. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Paper Box Company

Nearest wagon says Capital Paper Box Company. The one in front of it says Capitol Paper Box Company. I wonder what's up with that?

Capital idea

The Capitol Paper Box Company has some stiff competition in Capital Paper Box Company. The one is literally stalking the other. Note to self while on the delivery route: a capitol is a building.


Below is the same view from April of 2010.

Garfinckel vs. Garfinkle

The sign on the building says "Garfinkle". When the store was still operating, I knew it as "Garfinckel's". What's up with that? A sign painter's error? I found the answer in Wikipedia's entry for Garfinckel's: "By August 1924, the spelling of the store name was modified to Julius Garfinckel & Co"

My Long-Ago Stomping Ground

Aside from the horse-drawn wagons delivering paper goods - this is Washington, after all - the view closely resembles what I saw on my lunchtime walks down 14th Street from my place of employment for General Electric at 777 14th St NW, i.e., 14th & H, to the shopping on F Street. That was in the 1970s and 1½ blocks from the White House. You could look out the windows toward New York Avenue and see the front doors of the self-proclaimed "largest dirty book store in the world" catty-corner from GE. Not my choice for entertaining reading so I never went near the place. I did occasionally venture into Garfinckel's even though it was usually too dear for a cash-strapped recent college graduate. I did fall in love with a freshwater pearl necklace ($110) which I put on layaway and paid off in $10 increments each payday after I bought two weeks of bus tickets for $12 (60 cents per trip). Halcyon times.

A few blocks' walk down F Street brought me to the downtown flagship store of Woodward & Lothrop, my mother's favorite department store. Like Garfinckel's, Woodies is long gone and sorely missed by those who remember.

Julius Garfinckel & Co.

Although the chain of stores went out of business by 1990, at its height, the flagship Garfinckel's in Washington had eight floors of clothing, products and extras, including the Greenbrier Garden Tea Room on the fifth floor.

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