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Lincoln at the Capitol

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From the Re-envisioning Washington D.C. series… Lincoln at the Capitol. Archival photo from Library of Congress: Ford Motor Co., Lincoln at Capitol, [Washington, D.C.] Photo by National Photo Company, between 1910 and 1935. Call Number: LC-F82- 345 [P&P]


Location & Story

In the 1920s it was actually common for car manufacturers to get advertising photos of their vehicles in front of Washington, D.C. landmarks. The model above is a 1924 Lincoln Model L by the Ford Motor Company. Of course you could never pull that off today at the U.S. Capitol because this street is blocked with pylons to prevent terrorism. Tourists are free to walk the grounds outside or schedule a tour inside.

The archival photo used in this merge was likely taken by Herbert E. French. According to the Library of Congress, he took photographs of many D.C. subjects and was a member of the White House News Photographers. Mr. French also purchased the National Photo Company (NPC) in 1912 and added his own negatives to the collection. NPC’s goal was to supply exclusive news photographs to several newspapers around the country. They also provided advertising services to various clients. Mr. French eventually donated his entire photo collection to the Library of Congress.

Intersection of First St. NE and East Capitol Street NE as it appears today.

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