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Candy, Cigars, Souvenirs: 1920

Candy, Cigars, Souvenirs: 1920

"Standard Engraving Co., Minster Building, 12th Street N.W." circa 1920. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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No Sherlock, Holmes

It just dawned on me that it was the Helms Bakery that had those panel trucks that went around the neighborhoods. I think it was the burgeoning supermarket industry that did them in, just as with the home milk delivery boys. Obviously, a Sherlock I was not when it came to Holmes Pies...

Holmes Pies

Is that Holmes Pies any chance the precursor of the Helms Bakery trucks with the slide out trays of bread, donuts and pastries which I recall roaming the neighborhoods of my youth in the western states? They disappeared in the 60's or 70's, as I recall.

[I don't know about Helms. But Holmes Bakery had its own fleet of trucks [Link 1] [Link 2] [Link 3]. - Dave]

Carrie Nation

The Washington Post article cited below is dated June 14, 1917, and the story appears to be reported as current news. Yet all three links for more Carrie Nation information give her date of death as 1911. Hmm...
Once again Shorpy piques my interest, and I learned something today about the history of the temperance movement and Mrs. Nation.

[The date on the news clip was a typo. It's from 1907, not 1917. - Dave]

Mount Vernon Railway

This building was the office and station of the Washington, Alexandria and Mount Vernon Railway, an interurban road that had a loop terminus in front of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The circular concrete drive in front of the main gate was once the railway right-of-way. Electric interurban cars pulled up alongside the awning in the photo for passengers.

Frank R. Scheer, Railway Mail Service Library

Carrie Nation's Frolic

Minster's Corner was once the focus the famed Carrie Nation's ire.

Washington Post June 14, 1907

Mrs Nation fined $25

Saloon Smasher Pays Up After Temperance Lecture to Judge

Mrs. Carrie Nation's frolic in front of S.D. Minster's store, at Twelfth street and Pennsylvania avenue northwest, Wednesday night, cost her $25 in Police Court yesterday. Incidentally, and as a self-administered balm to her outraged feeling, the former Kansas hatchet wielded read from the witness box passages of Scripture touching upon intemperance. Blackstone, as interpreted by Judge Mullowny, did not appeal to Carrie. Neither did her Scriptural readings to the judge, whose calm, judicial reasons was:

"I find you guilty of disorderly conduct, as charged. Twenty-five dollars fine, please."

Mrs. Nation's friends made up the $5 additional to the $20 which she deposited in the First precinct station for the appearance in court. The saloon wrecker departed, after discoursing freely as to the evils of strong beverages and cigarettes.


Reif's Special was a short lived non alcoholic beer type drink.
Non alcoholic sodas gained in popularity after prohibition in 1916.
Reif's Special, described as "A Pure Liquid Food", was manufactured in Chattanooga, TN by Martin Lynch in 1917.


[advertisement text]
Reif's Special
Serve Cold
It Is Not A Compound
Here is the triumph of man's inventive genius - just
what the world has long been awaiting - a beverage
that has all the snappy flavor and foaming goodness
of the hops with the alcohol left out. That's done by
a patented process. We are the pioneers. Beware of imitations.
At soft drink places - in bottles or cases.
Martin-Lynch Co., Distributors


Yes, Bon-Ami is still available. It is the only scouring powder we use. I buy it at the grocery store.


When I was growing up in NYC back in the '50s, it was common for landlords to apply a film of Bon-Ami window cleaner to their rental store's front windows and door whenever it was vacant or during refurbishing, as is the case in this photo. I've not seen it used in years and don't even know if Bon-Ami is still sold. Thanks for jogging a nice bit of wistful memory for me.

12th and Pennsylvania

Based on ads in the Post, the location appears to be the southwest corner of 12th and Pennsylvania Ave, NW. - across the street from the Old Post Office and now site of Federal Triangle. Minster's Corner was operated by Samuel D. Minster. Washington-Virginia Railway was located at 1202 Pennsylvania.

Washington Post, Mar 30, 1902

I have purchased the old reliable and long-established business of H.A. Seligson; 1200 and 1202 Pa. ave. nw., and have added to the already superb stock of Wines, Liquors, Cordials, and Cigars... One of the distinctly new features of the establishment will be the attendence of lady clerks for the ladies' trade.

Eldorado Wine Co., Samuel D. Minster, Prop.,
S.W. Cor. Pa. Ave and 12th st. N.W.

Washington Post, Jun 30, 1904

The National Association of Stationary Engineers, No. 7, met at its hall, at Pennsylvania avenue and Twelfth street northwest, Tuesday night .....

Stationary Engineers

To head off the inevitable questions, stationary engineers supervise engines in a fixed location such as in power plants, factories, mines, water pumping stations and so forth, as opposed to marine engineers or locomotive engineers. I believe the current union calls itself "Operating Engineers" which includes what we used to call building supers.

Electric cars

Very interesting to find out that, even in such a late time as the 1920s (when this photo is dated), there was still possible to get a ride on an electric car. One can only wonder what would have happened if those had caught on for public transport; maybe we wouldn't be choking in as much smog as today.

[They did catch on. They were called streetcars. In this instance, "electric cars" were the interurban trolleys of the Washington-Virginia Railway, departing from Mid-City Terminal at 12th and Pennsylvania. - Dave]

Your Weight and Fortune

Is that a fortune-telling, penny weight scale outside the door of the Fussel's ice cream store? No wonder the place went out of business.

Stationary Engineers

For those of you who live in the country or exurbia and maybe even suburbia, a stationary engineer, to those of us city folk, is usually the building superintendent, or as we know him (or her), "the super".

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