What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1910s? Take a look at our great posts with stories, people, photos, and history about the District from the twenties.

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Street scene, Pennsylvania Avenue." Here we see the tower of the Old Post Office as well as a number of vanished Washington landmarks including the Parker Bridget department store.

Pennsylvania Avenue, Frozen in Time (1919)

What an amazing shot of Pennsylvania Avenue from 1919. This captures much what is happening in the old video we posted from about a decade earlier. UPDATE: We received a great tip and link from GoDCer...
Embassy of Kenya at 2249 R St. NW (Wikipedia)

If Walls Could Talk: Embassy of Kenya

Our last embassy version of “If Walls Could Talk” was quite popular, so here’s another one from the same part of town, Sheridan Circle. California’s new senator buys Washington residence In December 1915, California’s freshman senator,...
newspaper headline - December 5th, 1916 (Washington Post)

Woman Dies in Flames; Husband Sleeps Through It

Here we have another bizarre article from the Washington Post, published on December 5th, 1916. This one was sent to us by GoDCer John (i.e., our inspiration and Mr. Streets of Washington). Mrs. Mabel E. Bates, 38...
press correspondents and photographers on the White House lawn - 1918

White House Photographers in 1918

This is a great one to kick off our new Ghosts of DC design. This photograph shows a group of White House photographers from the press pool, standing on the South Lawn back in 1918.
Woodrow Wilson in White House

Film Footage of Woodrow Wilson in the White House

This is pretty interesting. Check out this footage of President Wilson at the White House. Related articles Origins of the Political Ad: Woodrow Wilson’s 1912 Campaign Film (pbs.org) Video: Wilson, Harding and a Nation Pay Respect...
Budweiser Clydesdales in D.C. after the repeal (cnbc.com)

First Legal Drink at Midnight Upon Repeal of Prohibition

Do you like your beer, wine or liquor? The Sheppard Bone-Dry Act of 1917 would have put a major damper on your libations when it was signed by President Wilson. November 1st, 1917 would be the...
not really a bomb

Dumbass Causes Bomb Scare at State, War and Navy Building

Things were quite different about a century ago. People were a little more trusting, maybe naïve or innocent. I think this short piece in the Washington Post from January 9th, 1916 illustrates this perfectly. If this happened...
Thomas J. Fisher & Co., Inc. advertisement - April 9th, 1911 (Washington Herald)

A Chevy Chase Home for $500 Down

Do you live in Chevy Chase? Was your down payment $500? I think it’s safe to say that’s off by a factor of around 200. Either you find this extremely amusing or slightly depressing. That amount...
The New Hadleigh Apartments - August 9th, 1919 (Washington Times)

This Day in History: Birth of the Camden Roosevelt

Washington Times, August 9th, 1919 A new $2,000,000 apartment hotel is to be erected at once on the property bounded by Sixteenth street, New Hampshire avenue, V and W streets. The building will be complete in...
Georgetown University advertisement - September 3rd, 1911 (Washington Times)

Georgetown University Tuition: $100

Are you getting ready to go back to school? Have you paid your tuition bill yet? In 1911, your tuition bill would have been $100 (not sure if that’s per semester or full year). Damn, that’s...
French assault Germans in trench warfare

This Day in History: The Great War Delays D.C. School Opening

This is an interesting article from the Washington Times, dated August 8th, 1914, exactly 98 years ago today. World War I (i.e., the Great War) had been going for roughly two weeks and the paper reported...
Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Devereux child in chariot." Late for the toga party. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. (Shorpy)

Chariot Late for Toga Party

Bizarre? Definitely. Here’s a classic that was on Shorpy. The caption doesn’t reveal very much information, nor does it tell us where this was taken, but I think the photo speaks for itself. It appears to...
American University College of History building circa 1918 (Library of Congress)

Hurst Hall at American University in 1918

I believe this is Hurst Hall sometime between 1918 and 1920. If you went to AU, how does this compare to the building today? The university has a good history section on their own website that...
9th and G St. NW in 1919 (Shorpy)

Old Photo: Dentist Office at 9th and G St. NW in 1919

What an incredible shot, frozen in time. Click the image for higher resolution and look at the details of the United Cigar Stores. Co. You can study this photo for a while. It’s pretty fascinating. Above...
White House stables and horse during Teddy Roosevelt's administration (Library of Congress)

White House Stables Demolished; Pauline the Cow Left Homeless

President Taft was a huge advocate for automobiles. So much so, that he the first set of White House limousines, including one that was steam driven. He was given a budget of $12,000 to invest in...
great white shark breaching

Shark Attacks in the Potomac in 1911?

This is not a joke. A long time ago, there was a perceived oncoming epidemic of invading sharks, hell-bent on destroying humans and their boats. I found this article in the Washington Post from July 26th,...
Bloomingdale real estate advertisement - August 19th, 1911 (Washington Times)

Buy A House in Bloomingdale for $5,250

Here’s a cool advertisement I came across in the Washington Times. This is from Augusts 19th, 1911. Related articles Bass Ale For Christmas Eve 1911 (ghostsofdc.org) I Make Sick Teeth Well (ghostsofdc.org) Think It Over, Mr....
February 1913. "Woman suffrage -- hikers arriving in Washington from New York." Today marks the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Over the next few days we'll post some more suffrage photos. Harris & Ewing glass negative. (Shorpy)

Old Photo Friday: Women’s Suffrage Parade in 1914

Here’s an excellent photo capturing history in Washington. This is a parade of suffragettes but I can’t quite make out where they are. If you know where this is, or think you recognize the building in the foreground...
Get Ghosts of DC by emailYou don't want to miss our best stuff in your inbox!

We'll send you our newest content as soon as it publishes. And, we'll throw in some of the best old content from the last eight years. We have nearly 3,000 posts, so you'll have plenty to read.