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The Slammer: 1919

The Slammer: 1919

1919. "District of Columbia Jail." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.


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Hard times

I'll bet it sometimes felt like the walls were closing in, especially if that toilet started backing up.

Two for the price of one

Don't miss the top bunk, pulled up against the wall. The stager definitely paid off on this listing.

In the Mood

A couple of candles and a flower or two would do wonders on conjugal visiting days.


TP-free, I see.

I would have spent the days

Counting those darn rivets.

Soft on Crime

A patterned blanket! Whatever next?

That looks horrible...

but I guess that was the whole point in 1919. It certainly is the definition of the bare minimum.

Bleak, but it could be worse...

The cell is fitted with an earthenware toilet that lacks both a toilet seat and privacy. However, it was an improvement: The previous generation of prison toilets were solid iron and very cold indeed on winter days.


I'm planning on remodeling our powder room, this picture gives me lots of handy decorating tips. Thanks!

Too hot or too cold

There's no way that this jail cell would be comfortable. It looks more like a brig on a battleship than a jail on land.


I had to spend a short time in jail before (nothing real bad or violent, just a stupid mistake). It sucked being in there but I'm grateful that I didn't have to spend it a cell like this, and that there was television.

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