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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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Gas Shack: 1920

Gas Shack: 1920

Washington, D.C., in 1920. "Penn Oil Co., 16th and M Sts." Pardon the mold. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Frank P. Jacobs

Washington Post, Nov 2, 1907

F.P. Jacobs, a driver in the District fire department, was yesterday retired from service and given a monthly pension of $50.

Washington Post, Jun 26, 1911

A detail of three firemen from every station in the District will act as a guard of honor this morning at the funeral of Frank P. Jacobs, a retired member of the fire department who died Friday. The funeral will be held from his late residence, 915 Twelfth street northwest. Dr. Reid, of Berwyn, will officiate. Burial will be in Rock Creek Cemetery.

Mr. Jacobs was a member of the force 24 years. About four years ago an accident at a fire brought on complications resulting in his retirement. For the last three years he had been proprietor of a horse and dog clipping establishment in this city.

He is survived by his wife - Mrs. Henrietta Jacobs; two sons - Samuel B. an George E. Jacobs, and three daughters - Mrs. Thomas W. Ragland, Mrs. Fitzhugh Tayor and Miss Elizabeth Jacobs.

Washington Post, Apr 3, 1912

Notice is hereby given that the horse and dog clipping business formerly conducted by the late F.P. Jacobs & Co. is being conducted at the same premises, 1611 M st. nw. and rear 1206 D St. nw. Thanking our patrons in advance. F.P. Jacobs & Co.

Ceci n'est pas une tondeuse cheval-chien électrique.

Seriously now, how much more Surrealist can you get than that sign?

1914 Studebaker

I think that's a 1914 Studebaker, for those who might care.

Chug, backfire, pop

"Fill 'er up. Ah, could I have that without water added?"

Lightning motor fuel

I'll bet they used the same tanker to haul moonshine too.

I mean, how could you tell the difference?

What, no discount for bulk?

Oil is 80 cents a gallon, and 20 cents a quart. There should be some incentive to buy the larger sized container. Lousy marketing, I say. I bet they're no longer in business.

Passing Eras

I love the contrast of the Shoer's building in the background with a gas station right in front of it. Time, indeed, waits for no one.

Ding! Ding!

Say, is this a full-service station?

I love that the tanker appears to be horse-drawn. That, with the sign for the horseshoer has all the poignancy of the dinosaurs eyeing those little ratlike things scurrying about.

Whaddaya wanna bet

That one guy's nickname was "Stinky Schminke"?

Ambulance Depot Redux

Also seen in the Shorpy Post: Ambulance Depot: 1917

Compared to the architectural jewels of the Minute Service stations, the Penn Oil Co. was content to vend gasoline from simple shacks. Also photographed the same year:

Worth it

Worth showing the photo despite the state of it; this is a wonderfully evocative timepiece. The chap on the left is dressed as he would have ben in his younger days in the 1880s/90s.

You have to wonder

Where did they find room in that tiny service station building for the self-serve coffee counter, the doughnut rack, the newspaper and magazine stand, the chili dog warmer and the D.C. Lottery machine?

The electric clipper was invented by Wahl either in 1919 or 1921 (two sources) so Mr. F.P. Jacobs was on the (rim shot, please) cutting edge. I sure hope Barnum found out about his horse dog. "See on our FABULOUS Midway the MAESTRO, the MAGICAL Equine and Canine WHISPERER, F. P. Jacobs and his Electrifying Horse Dog!"

31 cents a gallon

Look how high the gas price was! Driving was truly a luxury at that time

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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