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The Necessities: 1921

The Necessities: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "People's Drug Store, 18th Street & Columbia Road." At Store No. 10, window displays of grape juice, cigars, washcloths and Mag-Lac toothpaste and toothbrushes. National Photo Co. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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March 7, 2010

A familiar facade

Oh MY. I walked right by that building often on my vacation earlier this summer! I recognize it from the Google street map, and now that I look again at the 1921 photo I can see it...

What a difference 90 years makes!

Montgomery Burns' shopping list

From the price list kindly posted by stanton_square, I picked out some items which sound like nothing so much as Montgomery Burns's shopping list:

Limestone Phosphate
Fig Syrup
Peptogenic Milk
Brooks' Barley
Robinson's Barley
Johnson's Barley
Danderine Hair Tonic
and a "live rubber fountain syringe"

Mag-Lac Toothpaste

"With shellac for the smile of beauty, and magnesium for the smile of success!"


The signage Peoples used is interesting. It allowed the building to be seen behind it. Marvelous.

Kodak Films

I can never see a sign like that on one of these old drug stores without contemplating all the thousands of personal and family memories now relegated to filling shoeboxes in antique stores.

The neighborhood

What a beautiful neighborhood. The buildings are absolutely magnificent. Hopefully this is not a high crime area. It doesn't look like it. But one never knows. After all it is Washington.

[The neighborhood is Adams-Morgan. - Dave]

Any Cigar

Any cigar you can get for free probably isn't worth the price.

Fountain favorites

I see that the soda fountain is offering a nice "Fig Flake Sundae" for 20 cents -- only five cents more than an ice cream sundae!

Whose house was this?

Before it was Lewis Flemer's corner drug store, was this a private residence? The Queen Anne jumble of Tudor roof styles and the stone lintels expressing the ghosts of the original ground floor windows suggest that it was.

Willing to Please

Opening Sale

Peoples Drug Store No. 10

Last February we purchased this old reliable drug store from Mr. Lewis Flemer, which he operated for the past 10 years on this corner, 18th and Columbia Road, N.W., and during these years the location has changed from a popular residential section to one of the best business center in the extreme northwest section.

This store makes the tenth link in the Peoples chain, Washington's most progressive drug stores. We have made extensive improvements, arranged every department for quick and efficient service.

Just a visit will prove how progressive the Peoples Drug stores are - willing to please - courteous service - mammoth stock and freshest drugs obtainable.

Cigars FREE

Good smokes Thursday, the kind you will appreciate. Every puff will convince you we know good cigars. Your chance, have one on the house, and furthermore we want to convince you we know how to buy Cigars, Cigarettes, and Tobacco so we can retail them to you for less.



Good to see that this really interesting building is still there. Any info on its age or history? A serious building, but designed with a sense of scale and detail that is missing from so many contemporary structures.

"Soda book"

Is it possibly an antacid that is packaged a la BC powders? Never heard of such a thing. Obviously before my time.

[It was a book of coupons for buying ice cream sodas. - Dave]

Go Google Street View!

I did the same thing! I love to look at old photos and then see what they look like today.

You want fries with that?

Amazingly, this incredible structure is still there, and still selling rubber goods (in the form of Big Macs).

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