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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bike Shop: 1919

Bike Shop: 1919

December 1919. Washington, D.C. "Haverford Cycle, interior, 10th Street N.W. Agents for Smith Motor Wheel." National Photo glass negative. View full size.

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Old when it was new

Do you notice that the interiors of these shops looked old even when they were new?

I remember seeing stores like this as late as the early 1970's before malls ate up downtowns. They looked nearly the same as this except that some of the products were changed.

You could actually find new "old stock" inventory on shelves from around the time period of this photo, but nobody every thought to save them as antiques. Most of the stuff got the heave-ho.

Clock not working

I think the clock is not working. This was probably a fairly long exposure. That is why the people look so stiff. They are trying to hold still for a long time. In that case the pendulum should be a blur.

[Quite the opposite. This is a flash exposure taken in a fraction of a second. - Dave]

Same as it ever was

Where is the beer cooler?


They all look so happy to be there, eh?

The Corbin lock display is charming. Those skinny little chains wouldn't even hold up to my Leatherman pocket cutters!

Dunno 'bout you,

but I'm highly offended by that girly calendar on the pillar there. So sexist. Probably sent from France or somewhere. Does anyone know where I can get one? Woo-hoo!


Guy on the left is a mechanic recently promoted to salesman. He doesn't know what to do with his hands when they aren't holding a wrench.

522 10th Street

Interesting that this is the same address as the Waffle Shop.

re: Apparatus

It's a conveyor up to the cashier. Your money and invoice go up, a receipt and change come down.


What's that rig hanging from the ceiling with the tension rod -- some sort of overhead bike rack?

Holiday shopping

Love the effort they put into their Christmas decorations.


As the owner of a motorcycle equipped with a sidecar, I love seeing this one. I'm not enough of an expert on old motorcycles to identify either one. Maybe someone else can.

Strictly Cash

From the looks of that jolly crew, paying cash goes without saying ... and quickly.

Bike shop clerks these days

Can you imagine walking into your local bicycle shop today and being greeted by someone dressed in a suit and tie? Three rings in the ear, one nose "device" and spiked hair, yes; watch fob across the vest? Uh, not so much.

Retrospective prognostication

Something tells me they went broke.

Black Beauties

Buy a Black Beauty Bicycle

and get out in the open air and improve your health.
We are manufacturers of this bicycle and can save you the middleman's profit.

Ceiling spokes

The bike wheel light fixture -- cute.

Thanks for the reminder.

I need new brakes.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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