Norfolk 1919 A Guide to the Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection MG 69

A Guide to the Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection MG 69


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Community Collections

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23529
Business Number: 757-683-5350
libspecialcollections@odu.edu
URL: https://www.odu.edu/library/special-collections

Peter Stewart and Janice Halecki

Repository
Community Collections
Identification
MG 69
Title
Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection 1919 November Date acquired: 11/21/1988
URL:
Archon Finding Aid location
Quantity
0.6 Linear Feet
Quantity
1 photograph box boxes
Language
English .
Abstract
A portfolio of 46 prints that depict small shop owners and employees of businesses in Norfolk, Virginia in 1919. Also, includes a study written by Dr. Peter Stewart, an Old Dominion University History Professor and local historian, that examines what Norfolk was like in 1919. This study is located in the collection's control folder.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of David E. Johnson, Associate Professor of History

Method of Acquisition

Gift. Accession #A88-5


Biographical or Historical Information

The photographs presented here show some of the people and businesses of Norfolk, Virginia about one year after war ended on the western front in 1918. The anonymous photographer was clearly interested in certain kinds of businesses as the pictures feature scenes that other observers tended to miss. Rather than portraying the political leaders and the finest homes in Norfolk, the unknown photographer depicted small shop owners and employees, along with a few of their customers. The folks portrayed in this fashion look reasonably normal, but neither the nation nor Norfolk were experiencing normal times when the pictures were taken. The Norfolk of 1919 differed considerably from the city of the 1980s. Then, as now, there were distinct districts within the city, but these varied drastically from any current configuration. Between Water Street (now Waterside Drive) and the river were warehouses amid steamship and railroad terminals. Main Street presented an appearance entirely different from that of today. East Main Street, which commenced at Granby and ended at the large Union Station featured dozens of small shops, many of which appear in the collection of photographs. The eleven or twelve blocks contained some brothels for which this part of the city became notorious, but in 1919 it also held at least twelve lunch counters or restaurants, an equal number of tailor shops or garment makers, several groceries, shoe stores, and emporiums of various descriptions. Of the handful of photographs that have been identified, all were taken of the small businesses on East Main or nearby streets. The Boston Cafe, managed by Hop Sing and Joe Eng, stood at 711 East Main while the New York Lunch Room was located just a few doors down across the street, at 728. Demetrious Feleros, the proprietor of the latter establishment, may be the fellow standing behind the lunch counter at the New York Lunch Room. The address on one of the menus, 1115 East Main, confirms the presence of the Olympic Restaurant in the collection while the Maryland Fruit Store and Cleopatra's can be identified by the signs on their store fronts. The local directory fails to confirm the existence of these places in Norfolk or Portsmouth, but Cleopatra's neighbor, Brown's which sold breakfasts, stood near the ferry slip. Many of these establishments appear quite tiny and of questionable longevity. The fruit store that also sold candles and cigars, with an address of 908 and a half, is listed in the directory on East Main. The two gentlemen in the picture are probably Antonio and Philip Tagliaveria, the owner and clerk in the store, respectively. They both lived on Bermuda Street, a short distance to the east of the East Main Street location. While few other sites can be definitely identified, almost all of the photographs were taken in the East Main Street area, especially between Commercial Place and the Union Station. The area contained all of the different types of businesses portrayed in the collection. One of the other restaurants, for example, could be the Savoy. The barber shop might be the U.S. Barbershop at 709 East Main and/or the Victoria Hotel Barber Shop at 523 East Main. One of the three barber shops looks elegant enough to qualify as the Monticello Hotel shop on City Hall Avenue, outside the East Main Street district. Hofheimer's Shoe Store found at 444 East Main could well be one of the shoe stores pictured in the collection. W.B. Shafer, Jr., a long time resident of Norfolk, thinks that the rather stylish women's dress shop belonged to one Peter Smith and stood at the corner of Bank and Main streets. He also recognized the Norfolk Harness Shop on Union Street among the photographs and believes the bicycle repair shop belonged to a gentleman named Councilman, who later made his fortune in Detroit. At the 400 block East Main passed through Commercial Place with its statue of Johnny Reb. Here passengers from the ferry from Portsmouth passed on their way to Norfolk's commercial center. Some potential customers doubtless went to one of the city's well known stores such as Miller, Rhodes and Swartz on Commercial Place that advertised as the "largest department store" in the city. Or they may have headed to Smith and Welton's on Granby, which in 1919 rearranged its interior after the Red Cross vacated its 5th floor. Or they may have gone to Ames and Brownley, which moved into the Fergus Reid building that year. One block west of Commercial Place was Roanoke Avenue, the location of almost all of Norfolk's produce wholesalers just as Church Street contained many of the city's produce solicitors. One of the photographs shows such an establishment. It is hard to visualize now, but grocery stores were all over downtown Norfolk in 1919. Pender, the most successful of the 400 or so grocers who operated in Norfolk, advertised heavily and ran two stores. In the era before chain stores became commonplace, every neighborhood in Norfolk, including its downtown, possessed individually owned grocery stores, which were usually quite small and offered only a comparative handful of items for sale. The one chain store in the city, Piggly-Wiggly, stood on the corner of Granby and 27th Street, well uptown, and quite a novelty in 1919. The city market off City Hall Avenue contained several stalls where meat, fresh vegetables, and fish could be found. In 1919 the local government also managed a municipal grocery store at first on Monticello Avenue in back of the public market and later at the Red Circle Club on Atlantic Street. This outlet handled government surpluses at special prices during limited hours.

Note written by Peter Stuart, 1988

Scope and Contents

This collection is a portfolio of 46 prints, each were contact printed from the original 6.5" X 8.5" glass plate negative. These photographs were taken in November of 1919 by an anonymous photographer. Most of the businesses depicted in the photographs appear to have been located in the area of East Main Street between Commercial Place and Union Station in Norfolk.

The Norfolk 1919 Photographic Collection has been digitized and is available in the Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections.

Related Material

Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection in the Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections:

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Businesses--Virginia--Norfolk
  • Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century

Physical Access Requirements

Due to the fragile nature of the photographs, researchers are encouraged to use the online images in the Old Dominion Univeristy Libraries Digital Collections.


Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century

Container List

Mixed Materials box: 1 Box 1
Box 1
  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 1
    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 2
    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 3
    Workers Behind the Counter in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers Behind the Counter in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 4
    Workers in a Shoe Repair Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Shoe Repair Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 5
    Workers in a Shoe Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Shoe Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 6
    Owner in Front of Cleopatra Fruit Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Owner in Front of Cleopatra Fruit Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 7
    Men in a Pool Hall
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Men in a Pool Hall, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 8
    Workers and Customer in Front of Tagliavia Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customer in Front of Tagliavia Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 9
    Workers and Customers in an Apothecary Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in an Apothecary Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 10
    Workers in a Bicycle Repair Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Bicycle Repair Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 11
    Workers and Customers in a Cigar Shop/Soda Fountain
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Cigar Shop/Soda Fountain, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 12
    Workers Behind the Counter in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers Behind the Counter in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 13
    Workers in a Hosiery/Shoe Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Hosiery/Shoe Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 14
    Workers and Customer in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customer in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 15
    Workers in a Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 16
    Workers in a Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 17
    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 18
    Workers and Customers in a Women's Clothing Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Women's Clothing Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 19
    Workers and Customers in a Men's Clothing Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Men's Clothing Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 20
    Worker in a Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker in a Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 21
    Workers in a Harness Repair Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Harness Repair Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 22
    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 23
    Workers in a Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 24
    Workers in a Shoe Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Shoe Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 25
    Worker and Customer in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker and Customer in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 26
    Workers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 27
    Workers and Customer in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customer in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 28
    Workers in a Kitchen
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Kitchen, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 29
    Workers in a Barber Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Barber Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 30
    Worker in Front of the Maryland Fruit Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker in Front of the Maryland Fruit Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 31
    Workers and Customer in a Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customer in a Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 32
    Workers in a Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 33
    Worker in Front of Fruit Stand
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker in Front of Fruit Stand, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 34
    Men in a Pool Hall
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Men in a Pool Hall, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 35
    Worker and Customers in the New York Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker and Customers in the New York Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 36
    Men in a Cigar Store with Pool Hall and Shoeshine Stand
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Men in a Cigar Store with Pool Hall and Shoeshine Stand, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 37
    Workers in a Kitchen
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Kitchen, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 38
    Worker and Customer in a Pastry/Candy Shop and Soda Fountain
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker and Customer in a Pastry/Candy Shop and Soda Fountain, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 39
    Worker and Customers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker and Customers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 40
    Workers and Customers in a Large Barber Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Large Barber Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 41
    Worker and Customer in a Grocery Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Worker and Customer in a Grocery Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 42
    Workers and Customer in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customer in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 43
    Workers and Customers in a Barber Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers and Customers in a Barber Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 44
    Workers in a Women's Clothing Store
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Women's Clothing Store, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 45
    Workers in a Tailor Shop
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Tailor Shop, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

  • Graphic Materials box: 1 Item 46
    Workers in a Lunch Room
    1919 November
    Preferred Citation

    Workers in a Lunch Room, 1919 November, Box 1, Norfolk 1919 Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.