19th Century Prints, Engraving, Prints, Wood

Inauguration Day in Washington

With Inauguration Day just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to present our readers with antique prints of past inaugurations. DC is currently  busy at work preparing for the great influx of people about to descent on our city to see President Obama start his second term. Extra cell phone towers are popping up on the mall, streets are being repaved and repainted, and the DC  government is (as we speak) building large viewing platforms, fitted with wide screen TVs and heating.

Yet despite our city’s tech-savvy face-lift, when you look at these old prints, you’ll noticed not much has changed. Yes, Obama will be in a limo, not a horse and carriage like some past presidents. And visitors will probably notice less top hats and petticoats and more smart phones in the crowds than in years past. Yet all of the fanfare and excitement that comes as a result of witnessing an important day in history- that resonates both in the images of the past and in present day. People will still climb to rooftop vistas and immerse themselves into the thick crowds that line Pennsylvania Avenue. Balls will still be held under the red, white, and blue flags and bunting. And the tradition of swearing in a president for another four-year term will continue. 

We hope you enjoy these great images from the past! (Out of town visitors- feel free to escape the weekend crowds and stop by our  gallery to see these prints in person! We are open Tuesday- Saturday from 10 am to 5:20 pm.) 

President Lincoln's Reinauguration at the Capitol. Hand-colored wood engraving published by Harper’s Weekly, 1865.

President Lincoln’s Reinauguration at the Capitol.  Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored, wood engraving, 1865. [Abraham Lincoln]

The Inauguration of President Harrison. By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper's Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889.

The Inauguration of President Harrison. The Procession Returning from the Capitol. By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

The Inauguration Ball in the Pension Building, Washington.  By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889.

The Inauguration Ball in the Pension Building, Washington. By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

The Inauguration Ball. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper's Weekly. Handcolored wood engraving, 1893.

The Inauguration Ball. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1893. [Grover Cleveland].

Inauguration Day in Washington.  View from the Dome of the New Congressional Library - Crowds Gathering to Witness the Ceremony at the East Front of the Capitol. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper's Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

Inauguration Day in Washington. View from the Dome of the New Congressional Library – Crowds Gathering to Witness the Ceremony at the East Front of the Capitol. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

The Inauguration Ball, Washington, March 4th. The Entrance to North Wing of the Treasury Building. - Arrival of Guests. By James E. Taylor. Published by Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Wood engraving, 1869. [Ulysses S. Grant].

The Inauguration Ball, Washington, March 4th. The Entrance to North Wing of the Treasury Building. – Arrival of Guests. By James E. Taylor. Published by Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Wood engraving, 1869. [Ulysses S. Grant].

The Inauguration of President Garfield. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, 1881.  [James A. Garfield].

The Inauguration of President Garfield. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, 1881. [James A. Garfield].

 

 

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One thought on “Inauguration Day in Washington

  1. Pingback: All About a Ball « Our Polity

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