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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hopkins Titanafram: 1926

Hopkins Titanafram: 1926

"Washington, D.C., Industrial Exposition 1926. Hopkins Titanafram." Here's a fascinating glimpse back to a time when titanaframs were the size of sombreros. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Guess I was wrong...

I thought that by 1926 the Titanafram had already sunk.

"Improved," my foot

Why, the titanaframs back in my great-great-great-grandpappy's day were nonagonal! And you had to crank 'em by hand! Then they had to go and newfangle 'em up. Any titanafram made after Aught-Eight is a shamafram if'n you ask me.


What a startling contrast to the titanaframs of today.


The two barrels noted at the left side of the photo are a small caliber naval gun and a rangefinder.

Two eyecups in the center of the rangefinder are pointing down at the ground.

The naval gun? Maybe a pedestal mounted, breech loaded 1, 2 or 3 pounder? See the shoulder yoke? The gun is something that might have been obsolete by 1926. Certainly obsolete by WW2. It looks like something that would have been state of the art at the turn of the century but I don't know enough about this stuff to ID it any better.

Makes you wonder what they were keeping under the tarps on the tables. Ammunition? They could have done some serious damage to the "glass table tops" display.

Home Defense

It looks more like a piece of firefighting equipment either for a mobile truck mount or perhaps on a marine fire tugboat. The posters look like they refer to another exhibitor's booth.

Hear It Now


So, if I read the patent correctly, the Titanafram is a speaker cone, or diaphragm. Therefore (he said, sucking all the whimsy from the post) only the cone at the center of the display is the actual Titanafram, not the decorative frame or the embossed panel. So it's probably closer in size to a yarmulke. Apparently the significant features of the Titanafram that distinguish it from other speaker cones is the stiffness of the material used (wood!) and the graduated thickness from center to edge. I think it's fair to conclude that it was not a particularly successful design, since last I checked, most speaker cones are still made of treated paper.

[The Hopkins patents were important contributions to loudspeaker design, and eventually licensed to RCA. This was an actual working wired loudspeaker in the photo. They were hanging all over the exhibit hall. Click below to enlarge. - Dave]

Furniture tops

I find it interesting that there was enough of a demand for glass funriture tops to allow a business to specialize in them (see display on the right side of the photo).

[Glass tops were widely used in both retailing (on counters) and offices (desks). - Dave]

Home Defense

I am curious what the large caliber barrel on our left is. Is it housewares, per the posters behind it- "The only machine that removes"? I can't make out the pennant's message.

The Power of Shorpy

After Googling what the heck a titanafram is, the results page had Shorpy links at the top. I am impressed.

You Always Get your Way at Ourisman Chevrolet!

Ourisman Chevy in the background is still going strong in the DC area:

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