The Way We Were [Street Scenes in Washington, D.C. 1913-1925]

I happened upon this collection of photos from the National Photo Company Collection in the Library of Congress.

I love the optimism and elegance of the early twentieth century. These pictures show some of the most familiar landmarks of our country under construction. The pride that Americans took in our country is evident!


March 3, 1913. Suffragette March


Feb 12, 1915. Laying the cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial


July 1916. Lincoln Memorial under construction.


The faces of these women are amazing. What must they have been thinking?

1916. Convention of Former Slaves, Washington, DC


Look how sharp all the men look!

1918 Washington DC street scene. 


1920. 11 Women and a little girl in the Bathing Beauties contest


1920. Hudson Super Six racing car


Feb 23, 1921. Mesdames David Elkings, J.W. Beckham, and S.P. Spencer


Nov 8, 1921. Cherubic child selling newspapers for 1 cent each.


June 29, 1922. Little Miss Tarkington, daughter of Mrs. W. Tarkington Jr., on the steps of the White House patiently waiting to snap a picture of Mr. Harding


1922? Potomac flood, Georgetown, D.C.


1922. A woman scientist.


Mar 4, 1923. Members of Congress leaving the Capitol


Nov 1, 1923. President Calvin Coolidge (Silent Cal) laying the corner stone of the George Washington memorial, Alexandria, Va.


1923. St. Mary’s Orphanage in Washington, D.C.


It’s a matter of personal annoyance I cannot find out this rooster’s name, but at least we have his photograph.

Labeled 1924 or 1925, but likely between 1901-09. The Roosevelt family once owned this one-legged Rooster. 

6 thoughts on “The Way We Were [Street Scenes in Washington, D.C. 1913-1925]

  1. I love old photos. I think those three smiling, laughing ladies would be a hoot to spend the day with! The little guy selling papers needs some sleep. He has dark circles under his eyes. Wonder if he had a dad or needed to work to provide for the family. My dad’s father died when my dad was three years old in 1915. I vote for the littlest bathing beauty!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love the old pictures too 💖 The little boy selling newspapers was awfully young to be supporting anyone but so many people relied on their children for survival back then!


  2. Those two elderly ladies at the former slaves convention have an awful lot of history etched on their faces. I can’t even imagine. And I can’t help but see the contrast between the life of the little paper seller boy and “little Miss Tarkington” on the steps of the White House with her camera. Sigh. Even now there is so much disparity between the lives of people in this world. It is a sad thing to see and grasp.


    • I’m really struck by the former slaves’ faces too. The lady on the right looks distraught to me. It’s harder to see the woman on the left but the deep imprint of sorrow is unmistakeable on both of them.


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