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Truck Parade: 1919

Truck Parade: 1919

June 28, 1919. "Motor Truck Parade, Pennsylvania Avenue." Held on Motor Transportation Day under the auspices of the Washington Automotive Trade Association. At left we have another appearance on these pages by a Witt-Will conveyance. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Here is the same view taken in April of 2010. The top of the Atlantic Coast Lines building can be seen over trees in the 1919 view and is the light/dark orange building in the 2010 view. Today, the bottom floor of the building is occupied by the Capital Grille - the best steakhouse in DC.

Motor Transportation Day

Washington Post, Jun 28, 1919

Big Parade of Autos

Greatest Nation Has Had

Fair weather, it is promised by the weather man, will assure more than a success for the motor truck parade today, Motor Transportation day. Promptly at 12:30, the police escort will start up Pennsylvania avenue from the peace monument.

At the close of the entry lists last night more than 400 trucks had been nominated for today's parade, the biggest thing of its kind ever held in Washington in the way of an automotive demonstration. There will be trucks of all sizes ranging from the light delivery wagon of only a few hundred pounds capacity to a big 7-ton dump truck which with their load weigh in the neighborhood of 15,000 pounds.

In all there will 22 divisions, the entrants being classified according to lines of business in so far as this is possible. there will not only trucks to see but there will be music to listen to. Sightseeing cars will carry the bands.
What will undoubtedly prove a center of attraction will be two German trucks entered by the motor transport corp, the Audia, a three-ton cargo truck, and the N.A.G., a one-ton chassis with an ambulance body. The two trucks have just reached this country, having been turned over to the American expeditionary forces at the time that they moved into Coblenz, Germany. They arrived in Washington yesterday from Camp Holabird. In addition, this branch of the government service will have a series of floats, one of them a machine shop truck, as used under combat conditions. Gas masks will be donned and the work proceed as it would under actual conditions and bombs will be exploded. Another will represent Uncle Sam getting the kaiser's goat. There will also be a school float, showing how enlisted men can learn a trade.

(click to enlarge)

Streetcar Geek

We streetcar geeks are accustomed to standard, boring three-quarter views of rolling stock. It's a treat to see a candid shot of classic streetcars in everyday use. The Capital Traction Company cars numbered 621-750 were built by the Jewett Car Company of Newark, Ohio and placed service in 1910-12. The last of this type was scrapped in 1947. This model was numerically the largest of any series in the company's inventory and remained in service through World War II. According to LeRoy O. King Jr.'s book "100 Years of Capital Traction," the Jewetts were perceived as "typical" Washington, D.C. streetcars because of their concentration on Pennsylvania Avenue. Employed on every line in the city, these cars were "sturdier than most and performed well until the end of their days." One example survived as a holiday cottage on Maryland's eastern shore until acquired in 1990 by the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine, where it awaits restoration.

Lonely Guy

The only rooftop watcher I could find stands atop the Metropolitan Hotel next to a flagpole. He has a better view of the Capitol than he has of the parade.

The Metropolitan Hotel

Our view here is looking east from approximately Seventh Street. On the left is Gilman's drugstore, in the building that formerly housed Mathew Brady's studio. The large white building is the Metropolitan Hotel, profiled here.

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