Chicago guitars – 4 by Valco, 2 by Harmony

Some cool pickup artists images:

Chicago guitars – 4 by Valco, 2 by Harmony
pickup artists

Image by simonm1965
L-R: modified 1955 Supro Dual Tone (with new pickguard and one 1960s Valco pickup), 1955 Harmony Stratotone Doublet H88, 1953 Harmony Stratotone H44, c1959? unbranded black Valco, 1958 Valco-made Silvertone Artist, 1960 Valco-made Airline 7219

Louise Hand Laundry
pickup artists

Image by dbking
Margaret Nicodemus started the Louise Hand Laundry in 1912, according to historical records. In the early years, she probably took in laundry at her house: She was a widow, and the laundry business was one of the few entry-level economic opportunities available to women at the time. The business thrived, and in 1918 the building was purpose-built in a neighborhood that was then populated by Washington’s well-to-do.

In 1943, Nicodemus sold the business to Beulah Hall, a Nebraska native who had been selling life insurance. Hall turned it into the laundry of choice for Washington’s elite. Although the neighborhood declined through the 1950s and was largely abandoned after the 1968 riots, the Louise Hand Laundry workers maintained their reputation for fastidiousness. Laboring in long, open rooms and beginning each day with prayer, the women used only pure soap and handled silk and lace with the utmost care.

Four White House administrations — Roosevelt through Kennedy — entrusted their linens to the laundry, and the Smithsonian sent its 17th- and 18th-century costumes there to be cleaned. Unlike the era’s garden-variety laundries, the Louise Hand Laundry didn’t offer pickup, and neighbors remember watching limousines pull up to the building to drop off clothes.

But the increasing popularity of dry cleaning took its toll. When Beulah Hall retired in 1977, no one stepped up to buy the business.

The building was another story. By the late 1970s, a wave of what were then known as young urban pioneers began moving into the Logan Circle area and renovating the neighborhood’s stately but run-down homes.

Architect Robert Lewis and artist Sanford Shapiro were part of that back-to-the-city movement. They bought the building in the late ’70s and remodeled it, turning the two floors into separate units and adding glass block and fireplaces, but keeping the open, airy feeling.

Lewis and Shapiro were known for wild parties they threw in the building’s big rooms. "Oh, yes, we used to compete for the party circuit," said real estate agent Stephen Mowbray, who moved to the neighborhood in 1970. "We all had enormous spaces because it was affordable. Back then, nobody else wanted to live here, but they all wanted to party here."

Robert Lewis died in 1992, and the building passed through other owners before Chris Geier bought it in 2001. By then, Logan Circle was a re-established neighborhood, and Geier renovated the building to suit the times, closing off the sunken mirrored bedroom and remodeling the building’s upper level.

Source: Washington Post

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