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Everywhere With Everything: 1926

Everywhere With Everything: 1926

Washington, D.C., circa 1926. "I.C. Barber Motor Co., 14th & Irving Streets N.W." Here we have everything from a Hudson-Essex car dealership to moving vans to a florist to "scalp specials." And not only ghost pedestrians in this time exposure but a ghost car! Also note the use of trees as 1 Hour Parking signposts. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.


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The Oldsmobile

The car parked in the drive is a circa 1920 Oldsmobile.

I cannot find any pictures of Hudson's or Essex's with the canted hood louvers depicted.

Shown below is a 1919 Oldsmobile Model 37A that is almost exactly the same as the Shorpy picture, but the top is down.

Of further interest is the lock on the spare tire, the wood block acting as an emergency brake, and several notes/cards placed on the Oldsmobile that do not appear to be clear enough to read in the photo.

Gude Florists

The Gudes also had a facility just south of Laurel, Maryland, where Laurel Lakes Shopping Center is now. For years there was a rose bush right alongside Route 1 at a dip in the road, where it was doused with salt-laced slush every winter. A real survivor! It still breaks my heart that I wasn't able to rescue it, or at least take cuttings, before it was bulldozed away for the shopping center.

Just north of the shopping center is a large public park operated by the city of Laurel, called Gude Park.

1361 Irving Street NW

The only structure here still standing is the apartment building that is now the Irving Station Condominium, at 1361 Irving Street NW, directly behind the lamppost. All the rowhouses from there to the corner have been demolished, and it no longer has the metal awning that is (barely) visible. On the site today is one of the entrances to the Columbia Heights Metrorail Station, and the Victory Heights senior housing building, with Irving Station still there. Great photo, fascinating material!

All Hail the Hudson!

By virtue of its ubiquity upon these pages as well as its exemplary ability to elicit extensive commentary, I hereby nominate the HUDSON to be the Official Automobile of the Shorpy 100-Year-Old Photo Blog. The fact that three separate examples of this marque owned by members of my family figure in a number of photos I have personally submitted should in no way be interpreted as bias on my part.


The new-looking phaeton to the right of the dealership is neither a Hudson nor an Essex. It looks like an Oldsmobile.

I.C. Barber Motor Co.

According to Hudson-Essex ads in the Washington Post, the I.C. Barber Motor Company was at 3101 14th St N.W. Irving C. Barber made his name racing autos at the Benning track. He won in 1915 and 1916 in his homemade bright red "Eye-See-Bee" and again in 1917 in a "Beaver Bullet."

1926 Essex

Here's one...

Aunt Polly's Essex

And here I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a 1926 Essex again. My "Aunt Polly" (a friend of my grandmother's) had a 1926 Essex she bought new in Portsmouth, Virginia. I remember as a kid in the early 1970s riding in that car, with its acetylene headlamps and rumble seat. She had it until she died, in the mid 1980s. I don't know what happened to it after that.

And you don't have to be particularly old to know Glenn Miller's Pennsylvania 6-5-Oh-Oh-Oh, as I'm only 42.

Old Phone Numbers

This is an absolutely GREAT street scene photo of the times in DC. And speaking of phone numbers, my family went from "2943" in Newburgh NY in the 1930s to "4-8168" in Wilmington DE in the 1940's, which evolved into "OLymp1a4-8168" into the early 60's, before it went all-numerical to 302-654-8168 by 1965. Just before that, I had moved to NY City, where they still were using those great old neighborhood exchange names such as as ALgonquin (in Greenwich Village), MUrrayHill (in East Midtown), PEnnsylvania (in West Midtown) and BUtterfield (in the Upper East Side). (Sigh...those were the days, my friends...)

PEnnsylvania 6-5000

I sure do, and it's still the phone number at Hotel Pennsylvania in NY. Glenn Miller may have written the best advertising jingle of all time, and I don't think the hotel paid a dime!

The Car

I love that car in the parking lot... I can't tell what make it is, but it is sure classy.

[It's a brand-new Hudson. - Dave]


It seems we may have caught another historical transition here at Shorpy's - the phone system moving from 5 to 6 digit dialing in DC. Note the phone number of Black and White moving is COlumbia - 633 whereas the phone number of Story & Co real estate appears to be FRank - 4100. When I was a kid I remember we were taught our phone numbers as the exchange followed by numbers. Mine was MUrray 4-6176. Anyone recall the most famous phone number of all... PEnnsylvania 6-5000?

Say it With Flowers

The Gude Bros Co., established 1889 by Adolph and William Gude, is still in the wholesale floral business. An early history and photos of the company. Adolph, a pilot, had an airstrip built adjacent to their plant nursery in Rockville.

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