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Syne of Ye Krazy Kat: 1921

From July 1921, the Krazy Kat club off Thomas Circle in Washington, with Cleon Throckmorton to the right. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

From July 1921, the Krazy Kat club off Thomas Circle in Washington, with Cleon Throckmorton to the right. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.


On Shorpy:
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Same location, same general view direction - +94

July 9, 2015.

That butt-ugly blue/glass/sloppy stucco monstrosity at the left is where the Krazy Kat Club once dwelled - you'll notice not only the window/door openings of the building across the alley are identical, but the identical "gumdrop" shaped concrete pilings all along the base as well.

It also seems as though this little nook/cove has, in a way, preserved and somewhat still celebrates the spirit of the Krazy Kat Club, as the building across the alley is the Green Lantern - a well-known (and, according to reviews, well-respected) gay bar today.

Green Court

I know exactly where that picture is. The building on the right is still there. It's now the Green Lantern gay bar. The building looks like it hasn't changed at all. This is Green Court looking north from the middle of the alley toward Massachusetts Avenue. The building on the left where the Krazy Kat is located is now a gym. I'm not sure if it's the same building though. It looks like it might have been replaced.


I just loved the cocked foot of the girl in the center. She's so obviously posing, but trying to look nonchalant.


I suppose people back then were unaccustomed to escaping into their TV sets on a daily basis. It's so great to see the power of imagination being exercised by these Krazy Kats to create a unique place of their own. Maybe we would all benefit from having a gypsy treehouse in our backyard.


Look at the previous photos and you can see the transformation of good girls to flappers.

Wild Things

Check out the knees (and stockings) on flapper gal. The other young ladies, especially Miss Thing on the right, look a bit new to the scene.

Krazy & Ignatz

It appears the Krazy Kats lifted their logo and some of their hep-ness from George Herriman's Krazy Kat cartoon, which was at the peak of its popularity at the time of the photos. The cartoon strip ran in major US dailies and was noted for its irreverance and odd characters. The two protagonists were Krazy (a "kat") and Ignatz (a mouse). Ignatz held an unrequited love for Krazy - and expressed his affection with bricks tossed at the noggin of his beloved (whose sex was never stated or even insinuated). Herriman employed some odd English spellings and syntax as evidenced by this witty and revealing exchange:

Krazy: “Why is Lenguage, Ignatz?”

Ignatz: “Language is that we may understand one another.”

Krazy: ”Can you unda-stend a Finn, or a Leplender, or a Oshkosher, huh?”

Ignatz: “No,”

Krazy: “Can a Finn, or a Leplender, or a Oshkosher unda-stend you?”

Ignatz: “No,”

Krazy: “Then I would say lenguage is that that we may mis-unda-stend each udda.”

Goober Pea

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