Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photos of yesterday, featuring regular people and regular places.

Washington, D.C., 1919. "Fourth of July tableau on the Ellipse -- 'Columbia,' 'Liberty' and dancers." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Friday, July 4th, 1919

Interesting costumes. Even more interesting facial expressions.
Photograph shows view of Washington, D.C., taken from U.S. Capitol, showing Douglas Hospital, Old Douglas House, Railway Station, The Washington, or Wilkes House, St. Aloysius, Government Printing Office, Glenwood Cemetery, Swampoodle, Old Mill.

View of Swampoodle from Capitol Building in 1861

Here’s a good one to study. This is a view from the Capitol Building looking north, very early during the Civil War.
Washington, D.C., or vicinity circa 1911. "Flights and tests of Rex Smith plane flown by Antony Jannus."

Ghostly Photo of the Test Pilot

Below is a photograph of the Rex Smith aeroplane, being piloted by Antony Jannus around 1911.

Amazing 360-Degree View of City From Capitol Dome in 1863

Wow, these are awesome. Click on them for greater detail because they are pretty amazing. Sorry I just wasted at least 30 minutes of your time at work! Thank you Library of Congress. UPDATE: If you...
Washington circa 1900. "Jack Blaine residence." The imposing 1880s home of James Blaine, Republican from Maine and three-time presidential aspirant. The house, the only surviving example of the "castles" that once ringed Dupont Circle, is undergoing a major renovation. National Photo glass negative.

Blaine Mansion Near Dupont Circle in 1900

What an amazing photograph of Blaine Mansion in 1900. This is the only old Dupont Circle “castle” still standing. It’s also a great place to get some pizza and delicious craft beer today.
Chevy Chase Ice Palace, Washington. D.C. Couple doing fancy ice skating (Library of Congress)

Chevy Chase Ice Palace

Here’s a great photo from November 1942. It’s from the Chevy Chase Ice Palace.
panoramic view of Washington (1 of 5)

Panoramic View of Washington in 1879

Here is a series of photographs we have not seen before. This is a five-part panorama showing the mall area and surrounding buildings, from the Smithsonian Castle. Left section shows the Washington Monument under construction in...
Park and Shop on Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park

Park and Shop on Connecticut Avenue

If you live in Cleveland Park, or have ever seen a movie at the Uptown, you will recognize the photo below. This is the Park and Shop at Connecticut Ave. and Ordway St. It was built...
Margaret Gorman in 1921 (Library of Congress)

Margaret Gorman: First Miss America and Washingtonian

You may not know this, but the First Miss America was a born and raised Washingtonian. The beauty pageant might be seen as completely irrelevant and anachronistic today, but there was a time when it was...
annual dinner of the American Engineering Council (1937)

American Engineering Council’s Annual Dinner at the Mayflower Hotel (1937)

This room is full of middle-aged white dudes. The photograph below (courtesy of the Library of Congress) is the annual dinner of the American Engineering Council at the Mayflower Hotel, held in 1937. Their annual meeting...
View from the 2nd story of the residence of Mrs. Comre. John Rodgers, Franklin Row, K Street at 12 & 13 Sts, Washington, D.C., overlooking the backyard and adjacent neighborhood, and showing children standing on balconies

What K Street Looked Like in 1850

The watercolor below was painted by Montgomery Meigs in 1850. It depicts a slightly more bucolic and peaceful life on K St. Take a look at a map of the area from 1888. This is the...
Carver Barracks on Meridian Hill during the Civil War

Carver Barracks on Meridian Hill During the Civil War

Below is an amazing photograph of Carver Barracks on Meridian Hill during the Civil War. In the background, you can see Columbian College (i.e., George Washington University). You may recognize this from the Cultural Tourism D.C....
view southeast from the U.S. Capitol

Southeast View from the Capitol Dome

Happy Sunday. Below is an amazing photograph, taken around 1880 from the top of the U.S. Capitol. The view is southeast, down Pennsylvania Ave., toward the Anacostia River. It includes a block of five homes at...
homes on Klingle Road - June 16th, 1922 (Washington Post)

New Klingle Road Homes Completed and Sold

We dug up this great ad for some Mt. Pleasant home in the Washington Post. This was published on June 18th, 1922. Here is the same row of homes today on Google Street View. [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?gl=us&ie=UTF8&ll=38.933225,-77.045424&spn=0.004957,0.010568&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=38.933134,-77.045335&panoid=65fhGTJ5gFKO5bvC7lf6Vw&cbp=13,290.31,,0,-2.56&source=embed&output=svembed]
Winfield Scott Hancock statue

What Happened to Hancock Circle at 16th and U?

Many of you are probably shocked to hear that there was a traffic circle at 16th and U St. The intersection is already a nightmare, with New Hampshire crossing at a diagonal. If you cross as...
Circa 1902. "The Waldorf-Astoria, New York." The original, and somewhat forbidding, Waldorf at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. (Shorpy)

Officer Sprinkle Parties at the Waldorf-Astoria

Our favorite officer and the patron saint of Ghosts of DC, Officer Sprinkle, took a trip up to New York City with a group of 21 contest winners from The Washington Post. Twenty-one winners in the...
March 22, 1924. Washington, D.C. "Theodore Roosevelt III, boxing." National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

Scrawny Teddy Roosevelt III Boxing With Another Kid

This is an interesting shot of Teddy Roosevelt III, the grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt. He’s the scrawny kid on the right.
April 1943. Washington, D.C. "Pin boy at a bowling alley." Nitrate negative by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information.

Duckpin Bowling in the 1940s

You’re probably not going to find too many alleys where you can go duckpin bowling. This is a shot of a pinsetter at Washington alley in 1943.