Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Aerial View of the Smithsonian

Painting of Aerial View of Smithsonian (1936)

This is a beautiful painting done by Jex Garnet Garnet Jex in 1936. Source: Smithsonian

Hawkins Motors advertisement in 1931

Hawkins Motors at 1529 14th Street

We received an email the other day from Stuart asking about 1529 14th St. NW, now the location of the Matrix. After a quick search, we came up with about 100 advertisements in 1930-1931 for Hawkins...

view down Pennsylvania Ave. in 1905 during Roosevelt's inauguration

Height of Buildings Op-Ed: Skyscrapers Are a Menace (1905)

The debate over building height is certainly not a new one for Washington. It seems to be heating up again and we thought it would be interesting to dig up previous arguments from the archives of The...

Woodward & Lothrop (1963)

50 Years Ago: Woodward and Lothrop Advertisement

We’re getting close to the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. In days before, we’re digging through the newspapers to see what was happening in regular day-to-day Washington. Here’s an ad from exactly 50 years ago today.

Washington’s Faces of Yesterday [VIDEO]

Here’s the first video we’ve made in quite some time. It’s a complition of names and photos of regular Washingtonians who called the District their home between 1912 and 1942. P.S. Sorry for the typo in...

Aerial View of Washington Circle

Aerial View of Washington Circle Along K Street Corridor

How many buildings can you recognize in this aerial view of Washington Circle along the K Street corridor? For reference, you are looking east. At the very top right corner, you can see the Capitol Building....

portrait of John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth Makes His Acting Debut at Ford’s Theatre

Before he committed his heinous act at Ford’s Theatre, John Wilkes Booth actually performed on stage. On Monday, November 2nd, 1863, he made his acting debut at Ford’s Theatre. Below is an advertisement that we found...

Three firemen on fire engine drawn by three horses, Washington, D.C.

D.C. Fire Engine Pulled by Horses in 1912

This is pretty cool, and our fire engine fans out there will love it. This is what the fire department looked like in 1912. Source: Library of Congress

1921 B&O map of Washington, DC

Amazing Map of Washington by the B&O Railroad (1921)

This. Is. So. Cool. Check out this map of Washington, done by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

advertisement for homes in 1907

Mt. Pleasant Real Estate Advertisement from 1907

This is so cool! Check out this advertisement for homes in Adams Morgan and Mt. Pleasant. This was printed on December 7th, 1907 in The Evening Star.

Sambo and His Funny Noises

Racist Comic Strip from Sunday Star

It’s just shocking to see the blatant racism of 100 years ago. Here’s a comic strip, printed in The Sunday Star on January 5th, 1908. The strip is called Sambo and His Funny Noises.

Mt. Pleasant advertisement in 1915

Mt. Pleasant, a City In Itself

Check out this cool series of advertisements for Mt. Pleasant, printed in The Washington Times on October 17th, 1915.

The Palais Royal Lingerie 1907

Lovely Lingerie Advertisement from 1908

Here’s some sexy lingerie for you, circa 1907. This was printed in The The Evening Star on January 5th, 1908.

National Cathedral School advertisement

Ad for National Cathedral School for Girls

Check out this cool ad for NCS back in 1909. School opened pretty late back then, huh?

1916 bird's eye view of Washington

Cool 1916 Bird’s-Eye View of Washington

We can’t remember if we posted this already, but it doesn’t matter … because it’s sweet. This is a bird’s-eye view of Washington, looking toward the northeast.

Autumn Brides - October 19th, 1915

Prominent Washington Fall Brides of 1915

Here’s a cool page from the newspaper in 1915. This was printed in The Washington Times on October 19th, of that year.

venezuela walk

Two-Year Hike to Attend a Boy Scout Jamboree

These two guys are checking out their shoes, and for good reason. They walked from Venezuela to Washington, DC to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree, leaving on January 11, 1935 and arriving June 16, 1937. That’s...

proposed Metro map in 1966

Unrealized Vision for Metro in 1966

As with any massive public project, Metro was full of contentious debates and heated arguments. Ultimately, we know where we ended up, but back in 1966, things we slightly different and proposals didn’t fully become realized....