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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Standard Material Company/ Gyro Motor Company
Reference Number 14000799
State District of Columbia
County District of Columbia
Town Washington
Street Address 770-774 Girard Street, NW. Washington, D.C. 20001
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/30/2014
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The Standard Material/Gyro Motor Company building at 770-774 Girard Street, NW in Washington, D.C. is eligible for the National Register under Criterion A, at the local level, and under Criterion B, at the national level of significance. The property meets Criterion A for its associations with important advancements in flat disc records; experimentation and advancements in vertical flight; and the improvement and commercialization of the first Gyro Motor used in the bi-plane. All of these events occurred at least in part within the building, designed in two phases for use by the Standard Material Company and the Gyro Motor Company. The two-story factory building at 770-774 Girard Street was built in 1902 by and for the Standard Material Company, organized in 1900, officially by Joseph Sanders, as owner, but in collaboration with Emile Berliner who served as the company's president until 1920. The company was established to improve the quality of the flat disc record, and to that end, Sanders and his team used the building on Girard Street to develop a compound that would create a more durable material for the production of the flat disc. The company continued to experiment with improving the material for discs, produced discs, and conducted other experiments, including developing a tone arm, or divided horn on-site. In addition, the company used its institutional knowledge of the gramophone to repair and provide parts for the gramophone which were then being manufactured exclusively by Victor.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria