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Perfect Diamonds: 1940

Perfect Diamonds: 1940

Washington, D.C., circa 1940. "Potomac Electric Power Co. -- Air Conditioning and Lighting -- Chas. Schwartz & Son, jewelers." 8x10 acetate negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.


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Looks like a postmodern building now

This beautiful little building is so 30's modern that it looks like a 1980's Post Modern building, like the Portland Building in my home town. With the interior, it's a unified statement of forward thinking. And the upper windows suggest a cut jewel, I suppose. And what about those two square tiles on each side of the clock? I often wonder how the sad jewelry stores I see in the malls survive nowadays.

Summer fashion in the street and in the window

Woman warring very similar style as mannequin in window.

["Warring" -- as in combat fatigues? - Dave]

Street display has slanted windows ...

I like walking past display windows that are slanted. It looks like I'm walking into myself.

[The windows are not slanted. - Dave]

Subliminal advertising

I have no doubt the clock and small sign were illuminated. At night when you looked at the time you would also see "Schwartz Perfect Diamonds". I wonder if their name was in white neon script, like a perfect diamond.

I wasn't able to find an article about the modern, sleek building. I did find Charles Schwartz & Son is the oldest jeweler in Washington, D.C., currently located in the Willard Hotel and Chevy Chase, MD. I also found an announcement in a March 1919 trade paper. I bet Eugenia got a nice ring.

Glass brick

Was a popular decorating motif in the late 30's, early 40's. Also I can almost guarantee that those Art Deco letters are the first four of the word "modern", which it certainly is for that time. Those curved show windows were also in style.

Breakfast at Schwartz's

... just doesn't have the same "ring" to it.

Lump of coal

- quite imperfect ! - would pretty well sum up the prior store

The firm added the 1305 F Street NW branch in 1940 -- three years after the namesake died (pehaps the kids wanted a more modern image) -- so if the date is correct actually 1940, the grand opening sign must have just been put away.

[To reiterate a point frequently iterated, "circa 1940" does not mean "in 1940." - Dave]

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