Theodor Horydczak

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Theodor Horydczak, (1889 [1]Lyck, East Prussia, Germany - 1971 Montgomery, Pennsylvania) was an American photographer best known for his early photographs of the places and events of Washington, DC.


He is believed to have taken up photography during or after World War I, possibly while a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His numerous "Washington as it Was" photographs are housed in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division in the James Madison Memorial Building. He was known for his photographs of the exteriors and interiors of commercial, residential, and government buildings and of events such as the 1932 Bonus Army encampment and the 1933 World Series.[2] He retired in 1959.[3] Horydczak used a large-format Gold Ansco camera and typically utilized the photographic style called "bracketing," or taking many subsequent images at different aperture settings.[4] He married Frederica; they had a daughter Norma.[5]


The photographer's daughter and son-and-law, Norma and Francis Reeves, presented the collection, consisting of more than 32,000 items, including approximately 17,450 black-and-white photographs, 14,000 negatives, and 1,500 color transparencies, to the Library of Congress in 1973.[6] The Prints and Photographs catalog divides the collection into the following subject areas:

  • Business and Commerce
  • Memorial Bridge Construction
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Washington, D.C. in Color
  • People

The Prints and Photographs Division digitized Horydczak's photographic negatives, which can be found in their catalog.


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