Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photos of yesterday, featuring regular people and regular places.

1865 Civil War map of D.C.

Civil War Military Map of D.C. Area

We dug up this terrific Civil War map, circa 1865, at the Library of Congress. It shows Washington and the surroundings, including roads and forts near the end of the war. Source: Library of Congress
One Of The Bicyclists Holds Her Ears Against The Roar Of The Jet, Taking Off From National Airport, May 1973

Gravelly Point View of Plane Taking Off in 1973

How many times have you been down to Gravelly Point? It’s definitely one of the best spots to relax on weekends and watch the planes land or takeoff from National Airport. Here’s a shot of four...
Aqueduct Bridge in the 1860s

[Correction] Not Georgetown’s Aqueduct Bridge in the 1860s

UPDATE: GoDCer Jerry has correctly pointed out that this is not the Aqueduct Bridge. The National Archives has mislabeled this and it’s actually the Pennsylvania Ave. bridge over Rock Creek. You can see it here. I...
Dupont Circle underpass construction

Dupont Circle Underpass Construction

We did a post on the construction some time ago. Here’s another great photo of it from DDOT. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos

OMG! Retro Metro … This Informercial is Amazing

This. Is. Awesome. Thanks to GoDCer Harrison for sharing this. We first came across it on InTheCapital. Is this the best 70s video or what?
proposed Calvert St. bridge in 1917

Proposed Calvert Street Bridge in 1917

This is the proposed bridge for Calvert St. done by George O. Totten Jr. in 1917. The proposal was accepted, but ultimately, this was not the design that was built. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos
1860s view of Washington DC

Pastoral View of Washington in the 1860s

Take a look at this photograph. You should be able to make out the Old Patent Office in the background.
Washington, D.C. in 1973

1973 Aerial View of Downtown Washington

Check out this cool shot of D.C. back in 1973. You can see the White House, Lafayette Park, the Washington Monument, and the Potomac. Source: Flickr user usnationalarchives
M Street in 1959

View Down M Street in 1959

This is a terrific photo, courtesy of DDOT. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos
downtown Washington at F St. in 1942

D.C. Subway is Predicted in 1941

Here is a fascinating article we dug up in the Washington Post from April 8th, 1941. At the time, only Boston, New York and Philadelphia had subways. Of course, our country was thrown into World War...
11th and Kenyon St. NW in 1951

Awesome 1951 Photo of 11th and Kenyon

This is a great shot of what Columbia Heights looked like in 1951 (according the the label). It’s the intersection where, today, you’ll find Wonderland and the soccer field behind Tubman. The streetcar tracks are running...
F St. in 1970

Whoa. Neon Signed F Street in 1970

What a different city D.C. was back then. Check out this photo from DDOT. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos
The Museum. Birth-place. 18th + K Sts, N.W. 1879-1882. Bound in a copy of "Catalogue of The Exhibits in the Museum of Hygiene. Medical Department of the United States Navy." Compiled by Philip S. Wales, Medical Director, U.S.N. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1893.

U.S. Navy Medical Museum Back to 1879

GoDCer, and avid history buff, Mike sent over these great images the other week. I’m finally getting to post these, but take a look and see how great they are. Fascinating old history of the Naval...
Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Washington Battery Co., L Street." We saw the garage earlier in this post. National Photo Co. glass negative.

Willard Service Station at 19th and L Streets

Here are two excellent photos from 1919 depicting the old service station (no longer there, of course) at 19th and L St.  
"Arlington National Cemetery, 1922." With the USS Maine Memorial rising at left. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Solemn Visit to Arlington Cemetery in 1922

This is a powerful photo that speaks for itself.
Aug. 8, 1936. Washington, D.C. "Safety first for this Miss. Equipped with bumpers fore and aft, 4-year-old Betty Buck is taking no unnecessary chances as she tries her first pair of roller skates." Harris & Ewing glass negative.

Innovative Pillow Safety: Little Girl on Skates

We’re back after a Memorial Day break, refreshed and ready to go! If you fall with pillows wrapped around you, it won’t hurt … at least that’s what this little girl hopes.
View of the Center Market of Washington, D.C. from the north entrance of the United States National Museum, now the National Museum of Natural History, on October 16, 1909. There are horse-drawn carriages and carts, vendors, storefronts, and the Old Post Office is in background, center. In the foreground is the large wooden gate to the grounds of the Natural History Building and a small guard house next to it

1909 Views Near Center Market

We are digging up all sorts of great images on the Smithsonian’s site. Here’s one near Center Market with a view of the Old Post Office Pavilion in the background.  
Looking south from the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, the silhouette of the Smithsonian Institution Building is seen in the distance. The photograph, taken by William Henry Holmes and signed "W.H.H. Phot.," shows horse-drawn carriages along the avenue of storefronts. Above the first building to the right of 11th Street, the sign reads "Latimer & Cleary Auction and Commission Merchants", the next building has a sign "Star Buildings," and the third building "Metropolitan."

Smithsonian Institution Building from Pennsylvania Avenue in 1874

We are loving the Smithsonian Archives! This is a great one from 1874.