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Selznick Pictures: 1920

Selznick Pictures: 1920

January 1920. Washington, D.C. "Selznick front, Thirteenth Street N.W." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Julius Garfinckel

The most interesting thing to me in this picture is the spelling of "Julius Garfinkle." At some time during his life, the great Washington retailer changed the spelling of his name from Garfinkle to Garfinckel. The store was always known as Garfinckel's during my lifetime. The flagship downtown store moved from 13th and F to the northwest corner of 14th and F in 1929. The building now houses offices and street-level retail.

Select Pictures

This was, according to news items in the old Washington Star, a booking and exhibitor relations office for the various movie theaters in the mid-Atlantic region.


My mother worked at Garfinkle's in the 1930s, and I remember her shopping there many times while I was growing up near DC. I'd have to wait around endlessly while she tried on dresses, but at least we ate lunch at the Hot Shoppe on 14th St, and went to the matinee at the Capitol or the Trans-Lux.

Daft Workers

In the Hepner's ad below it states "Here in our luxurious parlor, daft and cheerful workers" -- I believe the word should have been deft, not daft. Can you imagine a customer requesting one of Hepner's most daft workers to work on her hair?

I give up.

At first, I merely thought it was something wrong with the film. Then, I looked at the picture full size and realized that they were on display in not just one, but both of Garfinkle windows. They look like a bunch of haunted handkerchiefs that have come to life, and are saying "Boo" to all passing pedestrians.

[Mold on the emulsion is responsible for the clothing display's alarming appearance. - Dave]

Hepner's Hair Emporium

William Hepner: "the acknowledged leader in the Art of Hair Dressing in America."

The Washington salons of Hepner's Hair Emporium opened Jan 9, 1911. An
image of the original New York establishment of William Hepner's hair and skin salon was previously seen in this 1912 Shorpy Photo.

Advertisement, Washington Post, Nov 5, 1913

New York       Washington       Atlantic City

Special Display of the Latest Coiffeur Effects by William Hepner

We are now showing in our windows a special display of the very latest coiffeurs, by William Hepner, the acknowledged leader in the Art of Hair Dressing in America. Every woman in Washington who keeps abreast of Fashion should see these new coiffeurs.

Highest Quality Hair Goods

All our hair goods are made from the finest quality of human hair, personally selected. Our experts make up the most attractive pieces, under the most sanitary conditions. Our great stock makes it possible for us to exactly match any shade of hair.

We Offer Ideal Service in Scalp Treatment, Shampooing, Hair Dressing, Massage and Manicuring

Here in our luxurious parlor, daft and cheerful workers, trained in our New York establishment, are ready to serve you. Special service in your own home when desired.

Toupees made to order and fitted by experts.


Hair Emporium
525 13th St.

2 Doors Below F

Garfinkle's demise

I've always thought that the reason the store eventually went under is to be explained in an incident from my childhood.

Once -- I must have been 2 or 3 -- my mother took me with her when she went shopping there. One of the salesladies commented on what a handsome grandson she had.

My mother never set foot in the place again.

Julius Garfinkle and Co. (Washingson~Paris)

The company was established in 1905 and, by the 1930s, was the most fashionable ladies' store in Washington. The store was still in existence in the 1970s. They were located on the SE corner of F and 13th NW Streets.

Quite a few dresses and accessories with the store label show up on EBay.

Tragedy awaits

The actress Olive Thomas was soon to marry Mary Pickfords brother; and while on a trip to Paris with him died under mysterious circumstances. He was implicated in her death for a short time, but the truth of what happened has never been fully explained.

Who you gonna call?

There seems to be a trans-dimensional portal forming around those two centre buildings.

Select Pictures Corp

Select Pictures Corporation was not a happy place. It was created after future Paramount boss Adolph Zukor quietly bought half of Lewis Selznick's silent film company. Zukor apparently insisted on the title change, because he didn't want Selznick's name included. Zukor, however, cared more about his other film companies than for any Selznick, and in the production glut of 1923 let Select Pictures and Selznick go bankrupt. But Lewis's two college-age sons (Myron and David O.) learned. David of course would become a mogul to rival Zukor, while Myron, as talent agent, would avenge Zukor's treatment of their father.

If you could run the interior shots of this business in the LOC's archive, it might be possible to tell if one of the workers was an 18-year-old David O.

[I doubt any actual Selznicks worked here. - Dave]

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