JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Shorpy members who are Patreon contributors now get an ad-free experience! (Mostly -- there's still an ad above the comments.) Click here for details or to sign up.

Patent Office: 1920

Patent Office: 1920

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington circa 1920. Which, after a zillion-dollar makeover, is now the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and Museum of American Art. National Photo Co. glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

I just can't help myself!

Under the tilted lawn is the root cellar where they keep their possum.

I'm disoriented!

I'm confused about which corner I'm looking at. Where was this photo taken from? There is a ledge of some kind in the lower left corner. Is that a window sill? Is it a roof? Also, at the end of the street heading off to the right there is a huge building that looks kind of like the National Building Museum. And what are the minaret-looking towers off to the left?

What would be great is if there was a way to "tag" DC landscape photos like this one to tell us what else is in the picture. Thanks!

[On the left is Ninth Street heading north; to the right is F Street heading east toward the Pension Office, now the National Building Museum. Click below to zoom. - Dave]

Kogod Atrium

Ahh... The old Patent Office is one of the great architectural buildings in the district. The recent renovations included covering over the interior courtyard into a fantastic covered atrium. Visible on the right of this photo is the grandest brick edifice in D.C.: the old Pension Bureau, now the National Building Museum. I strongly recommend both sites to any visitors to the area.

Also to the right of the photo is the now razed Barrister Building.

Washington Post, Feb 13, 1910

Office Structure Begun

Foundations for another nine-story office building for Washington are being laid at 635 F street northwest, and within the next week or two the public will be able to obtain a general idea as to how large the structure will be when it is completed. The building will be called the Barrister building, and will be a modern fireproof structure, with a 29-foot frontage and a depth of 120 feet. ...

Dancing with the Lincolns

Lincoln's second inaugural ball took place in this building, in the gallery on the east side (not visible in this shot). It's a great 19th century public space.


"Which, after a zillion-dollar makeover, is now Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and Museum of American Art."

At least they didn't raze the building to build a parking lot...

The ghosts are cool, and there's a lot of them in this one!

[Probably would have been harder to get a $250 million appropriation for a parking lot. - Dave]

They have the patent on tilted lawns

Can anyone explain why that one section of the yard is inclined? Is there some sort of room under it?

[A good question. There were a number of roof and basement skylights covered over after the building was electrified. Or it could have been a driveway ramp. - Dave]

Is that a Horse Drawn Carriage sans horse?

Behind the clock on the left, is that a Horse Drawn Carriage without a horse, or is that an automobile that would be considered an antique even in 1920?

I mean, those are solid rim wheels!

[That's a runabout. And I'd imagine the four legs belong to a horse. - Dave]

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2020 Shorpy Inc.