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Bright Lights, Big City: 1920

Bright Lights, Big City: 1920

Circa 1920. "People's Drug Store, 15th & G Streets N.W., Washington." Also at 703 15th: Many other tenants. National Photo Co. glass negative. View full size.


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The poster next to the door at number 703 appears to be advertising "The Girls from Joyland," featuring Billy Gilbert. That production, billed as the "Singiest, Danciest, Girliest Show of All" (Wash Post, 3/13/21), played for a week in March of 1921 at the Capitol Theatre.

It also had runs in Washington at the Folly Theatre in April of 1920 and again at the Capitol in January of 1922, but Billy Gilbert isn't listed as appearing in either of those.

I'd go in for a roll of "films"

But I think I'd die of embarrassment if I had to ask the clerk for "rubber-goods" or "toilet-goods" and they'd probably toss me out for
snickering as I tried to spit out the word (giggle) "truss".

I wonder if that was a vanity press publisher next door?


It's nice to know that you could buy your "Rubber Goods" and "Toilet Goods" all at once.

With all those cigars on display in the window ....

I'd be inclined to venture the guess that W.S Thompson tended to cater to men more than women - and that little sign saying "FILM" in the center bottom? Hmmmm ... what sorts of film? I'll bet there were lots of things for sale inside (and under the counter) that most folks might never suspect of being there. Just sayin' ... although I fully realize that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Tiling or a mat?

I only ask as it appears to be askew on the right hand side.


Wow! The Publisher is next door *AND* the Lithuanian National Council!? Definitely a lot of neighbors. Hope they have a lunch counter in the drugstore.


I love the "People's Drug Store" tiling in the entryway. There are a bunch of storefronts in my hometown with the original business's name tiled in the doorway like that. It's fascinating to see what used to be in those buildings.


Does this drugstore sell sunglasses? I hope so.

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