Charles Sumner School
View of the Charles Sumner School, 17th and M Streets, NW. Designed by Adolph Cluss the school was constructed in 1872 and was the first public school building erected for the education of the District's black population. Today the building houses a museum dedicated to the DC Public School system and conference center.
In 1944 the D.C. Public Library purchased over 1800 lanternslides and glass plate negatives from E.B. Thompson for $1,000. Mr. Thompson was a photographer who in 1904 opened a store that sold “steropticon supplies, cameras, lantern slides,” and other photographic equipment at 1343 F St., NW. His camera shop moved numerous times in forty years, ending up finally at 1744 Columbia Road, N.W. In 1944, his business letterhead advertised his store as selling “Sound and Silent Motion Pictures and Slides”.He offered to sell his collection of images of Washington, DC to the DC Public Library as he prepared to retire from full time work after a long illness in 1944. Starting in 1946 the DC Public Library contracted with the Library of Congress to create 8x10 black and white prints on mounts from his collection of slides and negatives. The prints are now part of the Washington, DC Historical Image Collection in the Washingtoniana Division. The collection’s strengths are in its images of federal buildings, the Arlington National Cemetery, federal memorials, national parades, historic houses, and street scenes.