Photograph – W. Walnut St. 1920

West Walnut St, Goldsboro, 1920s


From the collection of the Wayne County Public Library is this photo, taken about 1920, showing Walnut St. looking East towards Center St.

On the left is the Wayne National Bank. It was torn down in 1922 to make way for a skyscraper that still stands today.

To the right where the woman is window shopping is the Borden Building, completed in 1914, meaning the photo was taken sometime between 1914 and 1922.


West Walnut St, Goldsboro, 1920s


Zooming in, there are a few interesting scenes. There are two well-dressed men looking at the camera. The man hunched over the front of the car is probably starting the engine. The electric starter was in its infancy when this photo was taken. Hand-cranking was difficult and dangerous. Broken fingers and wrists were common injuries.

It is a great contrast to see the cars mingling with horse drawn carts on the street. Scattered around the man starting his car are several piles of manure.

On the right, running down the middle of the street, is the street car line. The service was in operation for only a short period in the early 1920s. There is a streetcar in the background just to the right of the man starting his car.


West Walnut St, Goldsboro, 1920s


VictrolaThere is a sign partially obscured by the telephone pole, but if you look in the store window the entire sign is visible and reads “Victrolas”. The Victrola was introduced by the Victor Talking Machine Co. in 1906 and was a fully-enclosed record player.

A lid covered the record player, while the horn (speaker) was hidden underneath with a mesh covering to let the sound out. Some examples, like the one pictured, had two doors that, when opened, let the sound out. There was no volume control; for a quieter volume you would simply crack the doors open.

Underneath was a storage area for records. The Victrola was particularly popular with the emerging middle class as a status symbol.


West Walnut St, Goldsboro, 1920s


People's Bank & Trust, Goldsboro, 1923
Ad from the 1923 Goldsboro city directory

In this particular section there is a banner over the street reading “Do It For Goldsboro”, hung by the Goldsboro Chamber of Commerce.

On the right side of the street is a barber pole. This is most likely Ward’s Barber Shop, located at 112 W. Walnut. The owner and proprietor was Albert W. Ward.

Just down from the barber shop, on the corner of Walnut and Center, is the People’s Bank & Trust.


W. Walnut comparison

Above: Image from Google Street View today (left) from the same vantage as the 1920 photo (right).


Previous Goldsboro/Wayne County historic photograph posts:

–  Goldsboro High School, Class of 1933, class reunions
–  Camp Royster, Wayne County Fairground
–  Seven Springs HS Girls Basketball Team, 1939-40
–  What’s in a Photo: Downtown Goldsboro, NC
–  Poverty of the Past: Goldsboro, NC

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