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World Series: 1912

World Series: 1912

"Baseball, Professional. Crowds at scoreboard." Watching the 1912 World Series courtesy of the Washington Post on an electro-mechanical scoreboard that looks something like a big pinball game. In the years before the first radio broadcasts in the early 1920s, newspapers, linked to reporters by telephone, wire service or "wireless telegraph," provided live coverage of sporting events like prizefights and baseball games to crowds on the street, with announcers and scoreboards giving play-by-play results. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Even though a casual glance reveals a sea of derbies and homburgs, careful examination reveals quite an interesting variety of hat styles and "bashes" (crown shapes).

Subway Series

There was a time, before TV sets were common in homes, that people would gather in front of stores that sold them. In most NYC neighborhoods, they were radio repair shops. There they watched the telecasts the same way the folks in this picture watched the scoreboard, but the crowds were nowhere as large as this. However, in the 1940's and 50's there was local interest because the Yankees, Giants (NY that is) and/or Dodgers (Brooklyn, that is) were usually in the series.

The World Series is the Big Event

The best thing of all is that this crowd is gathered on a Washington street to watch the results of a World Series played by franchises in two other cities.

E Street

I think that this view is indeed looking eastward along E street. At some point, Mr. Foster's shop moved, a careful study of the buildings show that they are different. An alternative view of some of the buildings, and the "Velvet Kind" sign, is seen in the nighttime Washington Noir photo.

The 1400 block of E street is visible in the background of one of the many views of the Hayes roadster. But this puzzles me. The National Theater building, with the blocky projecting bays, is perhaps seen in both. However, the Munsey Building, the large white block built in 1905, is seen behind the roadster but where is it in this photo?

[In 1912 Mr. Foster's shop was on 14th Street across from the Willard (ad below from December 1912). The store in the 1924 photo, when he had two locations, might be the one at 1229 Pennsylvania Avenue. In any event, that's the Raleigh Hotel in the background. The cupola was at 12th and Pennsylvania, so this would indeed seem to be E Street. - Dave]

Update: There is a reference in the Post in 1908 referring to address of National Remembrance Shop at 1333 E street. The Historical Society of DC has an image of the corner of 14th and E showing Mr. Foster's at the 503 14th site. Note the trusty policeman directing traffic in the foreground.

Washington Post, Apr 26, 1914

The Munsey Trust Company yesterday bought the property at 1335 E street, occupied by William A. Engel, who conducts a saloon, bowling alley, and restaurant. The purchase of the property gives the Munsey Trust Company ownership of all the buildings and ground between the New National Theater and the Washington Post building.

The trust company announced that an eleven-story office building is to be built on the site now occupied the by Shoomaker company and Engel, to adjoin the Munsey building. The new building will be of the same height as the Munsey building, and will be surmounted by a tower. The entrance of the present Munsey building will be changed. Work on the new building will begin June 1. McKim, Mead & White, of New York, will draw the plans for the building.

So I take from this, that the large columns in this photograph are the entrance to the original Munsey building. when the building was expanded The facade was rebuilt to the appearance seen in the roadster photo. This suggests the roadster photo was probably taken after 1915.

Officer! Arrest That Man

You there! Without a jacket or a hat. Come with me. You are under arrest as either a vagrant or a visitor from the future - and with those suspenders and bow tie, the latter is obviously not the case.

The Willard

I'm a little confused looking at this photo. I know that the Washington Post was once on E St. just north of what is now called Freedom Plaza. And there was a Hotel Johnson at 13th and E, which would be consistent with the idea that this is shot looking east down E Street from about 14th Street.

But I'm confused because the building looming in the background looks like the Willard, which would be behind the camera if I'm right. Was there a building at 12th and Pennsylvania that looked exactly like the Willard?

[Update: We are looking down E Street at the Raleigh Hotel. - Dave]

Men without hats

I see two!

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