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Visible Writer: 1918

Visible Writer: 1918

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. Another thrilling installment of "Emergency Fleet Corporation, building exterior." At center is the Underwood typewriter office at 1206 F Street N.W. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Not my sheltie after all

That poster in the window of the bookshop - the thing on the pillow looks like my sheltie with the covers pulled up. I guess not.

Underwood Typewriter

In the early sixties, during my teen-age time, my father brought such an Underwood typewriter:

a spare one from the office where he worked, for use at home. My brother and I saw it and were amazed by it, saying: "wow, that's an old-fashioned typewriter!", when our mother, somewhat indignantly answered: "Old-fashioned, you call that old-fashioned? I worked all my working life with such a machine!" She was from 1902, being the first girl at a Rotterdam high school (until then for boys only), and worked as an assistant at a bank's office. When there happened to be a cash discrepancy of a cent, they had to make over-time (without being paid for!) until the cause of the discrepancy would have been found.


My first thought was that International Mercantile Marine wisely chose Arial/Verdana, knowing it would last at least the next 100 years!

Early American

Wow! Must be Early Piscataway architecture!

Anno 1206

Here in Europe a number on the gable stands for the year of build. Is it common in America to put the number of the address there?

[Maybe it's one of Washington's few remaining 13th-century typewriter shops. Paging Stanton Square! - Dave]

Future Font

The window lettering on Stewards Business College looks very ahead of its time. It still has some old-world feel about the shapes, especially the e's and g's, but overall it looks more like lettering done much later in the 20th Century. And look; lower-case letters on signage! The nerve! They must've been using Macs in there. Way ahead of their time.

Compelling drama

That car in the middle looks really nice. And I must say that the streetwalkers were well dressed back in the day.

World's greatest typists

"THE World's greatest typists" sounds funny, was it such a higly appraised job back then?

Upper Class

This must be a real upper class area photo, with no Fords in sight as well as high dollar cruises for sale, and superb women's apparel too. Even if I was rich then I would surely think twice about a cruise with the White Star Line!

"The Machine You Will Eventually Buy"

Just down the street: Erlebacher's Clothing and Saks Fur Co.


Jackie Was Here

Erlebacher's "became nationally famous when Jacqueline Bouvier bought much of her trousseau there prior to her marriage to John Fitzgerald Kennedy."

Birthplace of the National Press Club

"In a room lent by the Washington Chamber of Commerce in the old Brentano Building at Twelfth and F Streets thirty-two eager newspapermen appeared and, at 4:30 o'clock on March 12, 1908, was born the National Press Club."

What Goes Around...

Those boots on the lady to the left, I swear I saw them in the shoestore today.

White Star

Hey look, it's the local offices of White Star Line! Stop in and ask them about their soon-to-be-built megaship, the Titan-something-or-another. I hear it'll be unsinkable!

[In 1918 you'd be a little late. - Dave]

Right On Time

Two well dressed ladies waiting for the trolley.

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