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Mead's Model Market: 1927

Mead's Model Market: 1927

Washington, D.C., circa 1927. "Semmes Motor Company. Mead Market truck." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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It's funny that in this one and the recent photo of Hendrick's garage that for the first time you see milk bottles not cooling on urban window ledges but as discarded street trash. I'm sure there are collectors out there trying to see if these bottles are embossed with desirable long gone D.C. dairy names.

Mead's date

There was indeed a Thursday, October 27, in 1927.

Alice & Elgar Mead

Washington Post, Jan 7, 1981

Businesswoman Alice A. Mead,
Ran Food and Liquor Stores

Alice A. Mead, 82, a Washington area businesswoman who had owned and operated food and liquor stores for 60 years, died of cancer Sunday at Doctor's Hospital in Lanham.

Mrs. Mead was born in Washington. She graduated from St. Cecilia's Academy and later attended the old Washington Business School. While still in school, she worked in Shelby's, a general store in Anacostia that was owned and operated by her family.

In 1919, she and her husband Elgar C. (Buck) Mead, established their own grocery store, Mead's Model Market. In 1933, following the repeal of Prohibition, the market became a liquor store. During the 1940s, the couple developed a shopping center on South Capitol Street. In the 1950s, they moved their business to Oxon Hill, where they opened a new store and shopping center.

After her husband's death in 1957, Mrs. Mead continued to operate the Oxon Hill store and remained active in the business until a year ago.

In 1956, Elgar C. Mead, a local pioneer in the questionable business of the "brew-thru," successfully fought an injunction allowing his new liquor store to operate a drive-in window. "Judge Marbury noted that the facilities at Mead's [Oxon Hill Liquor Store] through which motorists can buy liquor without leaving their cars are an integral part of the building. The merchandise, cash register, and salesman all are inside the building where the sale is made."


Nichols Avenue SE was renamed Martin Luther King Avenue SE decades ago. Nichols Avenue SE was named after the first medical superintendent of St. Elizabeths Hospital, Charles H. Nichols, which is located on that street. The address now is an empty lot (it's about at the intersection of Maple View Place SE).

What is that?

It may be an optical illusion or maybe my cataracts are growing faster than I thought, but what is that cluster of what looks like curly, fuzzy fur or hair next to the truck driver? Is it an out-of-control hairy dog, an overly affectionate, tousle-haired friend or some sort of display set up in front of the store? I was certain someone would have commented on it. I really need to know what that is if I expect to sleep tonight. Thank you.

[A pile of turnips. - Dave]

LIncoln 8219

My grandparents' telephone exchanges were Gilbert and Liberty. I would venture a guess that "Lin" is Lincoln.

Also, the detail is fascinating on this scan.... Down to the Goodyear on the sidewalls of the tires. Nice.

Gone now, but...

...there appears to be an old brick storefront remaining at 2241. Maybe it's the place next door.

Trivia for those not in DC

You won't find Nichols Avenue SE on Google Maps today. Why not?

Sweet ride

Looks like a Graham Brothers sedan delivery. A wonderful vehicle, except for those no front brakes--they'd be along in a year or two. It can't be very old, for all the tires (including the spare) to match, and the two-tone paint to be so shiny.


The truck is a Graham Brothers. The company purchased major components from the Dodge Brothers to build its trucks. Bought Paige-Detroit and renamed it Graham-Paige and began building cars until they went under in 1941.

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