Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy 150th Birthday Willard R. Ross


Today is the 150th birthday of Washington, DC photographer Willard R. Ross.  Born in Ohio on December 24, 1860, Ross moved to the District of Columbia around 1910 and commenced business for himself as a postcard photographer specializing in "hometown" views.

Ross documented Silver Spring twice with his large format camera that utilized glass plate negatives, once in 1917 and then again in 1928.  This view of Brookeville Pike, today's Georgia Avenue, was taken on June 21, 1917 and tweaked to reflect the spirit of the holiday season.

If the buildings in the left foreground look familiar to you that is because all of them have miraculously survived to see the 21st century.  The porch on the left is today's display windows of Plaza Artist Materials (the unseen American four-square house attached to the porch is encased in the present structure).  Next is a two-story wood frame structure that today houses Bell Flowers.  Other than having been covered in stucco, this circa 1910-15 structure looks almost like it did a century ago.  Just across Silver Spring Avenue is the original 1914 Maryland National Guard Armory, which begat the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Dept. #1 that in turn begat today's Fire Station 1 Restaurant & Brewing Co.

To view all of the other known images that Ross took of Silver Spring, see chapter one "Through the Lens of Willard R. Ross: Silver Spring in 1917 and 1928" in Historic Silver Spring.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Healthy and Happy 2011!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic and incredibly interesting posting! Happy Holidays & Happy 150th Birthday to photographer Willard R. Ross, from Longtime Silver Spring Residents

StreetsofWashington said...

I just noticed this time around that Ross is a fellow Ohioan of yours. Happy Holidays!