At the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Historic Anacostia’s gateway, is a landmark older than the famed Big Chair.

Anacostia’s neon sign, circa 1947. Photo by Theodor Horydczak.

This photo by Theodor Horydczak (1890-1971), one of more than 14,000 photos of his available through the Library of Congress’s American Memory series, captures Anacostia’s iconic neon signage in January 1947.

Commercial neon lighting signage first appeared at a Paris barbershop a couple of years before the outbreak of World War I. The new signs, sometimes referred to as “liquid fire,” arrived in the United States in 1923. From conversations with Anacostia residents and initial research, Anacostia’s sign appears to date back to the early 1940s.

Anacostia’s historic neon sign today. Photo by the author.