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Archeological Finds Vol. 16 – Back Porch Insulated with the Washington Post from 1932

by Prince Of Petworth January 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm 20 Comments


To be honest not many people read this column but I freaking love it. I’m surprised these papers are in relatively such good shape. Thanks to a reader for sending:

“We’re having our porch redone in Park View and check out what was used as insulation at some point: Washington Posts from 1932. Apparently you could get a sweet corset for $5.”

If you spot an Archeological Find in your house, apartment or office – please send an email to [email protected] thanks!


  • ClevelandDave

    Hey, someone was redoing their linoleum floors in 2014 and found some old movie posters that sold for $219,000: http://www.finebooksmagazine.com/press/2015/11/movie-posters-found-under-linoleum-floor-bring-219000-at-heritage-auctions.phtml

  • saf

    I read! Although I rarely comment, because I really have nothing to add other than “That’s cool!”

    • AG

      Agreed. They’re awesome, but just don’t elicit many comments, cuz really, what are you gonna say?

    • K

      Agreed. Love these.

    • textdoc

      I enjoy these posts too.

  • bruno

    What are “Wool Coatings”? For that matter, what are “Rayon Crepes”?

    • That ad is from a fabric store. Rayon crepes are crape fabric, a lightly textured woven fabric, made of rayon. Wool coatings would be wool that is of a weight for making coats.
      As a sewist I find this entry particularly interesting! Now fabrics generally come in two widths, about 42″ and 54″. I’m sure there are additional niche types, but these are the two you usually see on the shelf.

  • Anonymous

    I’m particularly interested in the contents of the article “A New Angle on Problems of our Kids.” Perhaps something in there could help with the violent youths on Metro issue?

  • Derek

    These are actually my favorite posts.

  • DCrat

    When my wife and I renovated our kitchen (pre-POP days) we found pages of the Washington Post from the 50’s used as a vapor barrier under the floor. Unfortunately, they would not come up in any pieces worth keeping. However, that helped us decide to plant a time capsule of Clinton impeachment newspapers underneath the cabinets so when someone else renovate out kitchen they will have a pretty cool stash to go through.

  • bruno

    “Unusually large assortment of pastel shades, as well as street colors! ”
    (What are street colors? Somber business earth shades?)

    • Caroline

      Probably dark colors that wouldn’t look filthy when exposed to coal smoke. At the turn of the century, when people were moving to densely populated industrial cities, the smog forced them to depart from the whites and pale colors that country folk wore. That’s why sophisticated urbanites are associated with wearing a lot of black. :)

      • bruno

        I see. Black is also slenderizing.

  • rfff924

    I personally enjoy coming across old ads, putting the prices into a inflation calculator, and then thinking about whether the same thing is the same price. The sheer silk hosiery for $1 in 1932 is $17.32 in today’s dollars. That actually does seem like a good deal depending on quality/material. I once came across an ad for a 4 function calculator from the ’60s I believe and it was ridiculous–something like over $100 in today’s dollars.

  • Andy

    Just learned from this and Wikipedia that the guy who portrayed Charlie Chan was Swedish. Naturally.

  • districtwanderer

    Best use for WaPo that I’ve seen in a while.

  • redraiderdc

    Who knew this was even a feature!? Very cool. Wish I knew, I found some things when I did the kitchen in my 1923 Wardman. Mostly coins in the wall, a bottle, and, I think, the original linoleum.


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