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King Street: 1921

King Street: 1921

King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. 1921 or 1922. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. Who can pinpoint the intersection?


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Below is the same view from December of 2010.

LOC Number Please...

I've done a quick search for this shot on the Library of Congress site but can't seem to find it. Does anyone have the reference number?

[Right-click on the photo, choose "properties." There's the number. - Dave]

Harley Model 20

Great bike! It's got the longitudinally oriented opposed twin engine, but it's not a Douglas, it's a Harley Davidson Sport Model 20, which was produced from 1919 to 1923.



Sweet Ride

That's a swell motorcycle! Not your run-of-the-mill Harley or Indian, it appears to be a Douglas, or maybe even a Scott, an early water-cooled bike.

The trees

Amazing how there are no trees in the first picture, but how tall they are in the modern picture. The tellaphone pole is gone and so are the trolley tracks.

Clang Clang Clang

A single trolley pole collects current from an overhead wire and uses the tracks as the electrical return. Trolley buses, which have no ground because of their rubber tires, have to use two trolley poles and dual overhead wires. One for the negative live current and the other for the positive or neutral return. Which might have been the case here.

Other corner

Looks nearly like a twin building on the opposite corner. near the Charlie Lee laundry. Any pics of that corner?


Current view of the cafe from Google:

King Street

Where the power lines seem to end, King Street takes a sharp downhill for 3 or 4 blocks, and then there's the Potomac. The trees in the distance are on the other side of the river, in Maryland.

Overhead Wires

There seems to be 2 overhead wires for 1 set of street car tracks. This seems quite unusual as street cars only required 1 overhead wire. Is it possible that 2 different transportation companies shared a set of tracks but drew power from their individual overhead wires?

[It's a dual-wire trolley. Not unusual. From another commenter: "To avoid use of frogs where the line diverged or at a siding so trolleys could pass each other, dual wires were used, one for each direction." - Dave]

King and Washington

That's the intersection of King and Washington streets. The surplus store is now Cafe Mezzogirono.

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