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Great WW1 Soldier Portrait Collection (on line)


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#1 cwnorma

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 04:02 PM

All,

 

Some of you may know about this but I recently discovered that the State Library of Massachusetts has digitized their entire collection of WW1 photographic portraits and made it available and searchable on line:

 

https://archives.lib...dle/2452/124230

 

The collection includes 8448 individual photographic portraits of mostly 26th Division personnel.  The collection is searchable by name and sometimes by organization.  You may be able to find your Yankee Division Doughboy's Portrait!

 

Check it out!

 

Chris

 



#2 aznation

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:42 PM

Thank you Chris for posting that as a resource.  I'm sure it'll come in handy for some doing research.  Appreciate it!



#3 US Victory Museum

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:38 PM

This certainly is a treasure trove of clothing imagery; however, the vast majority of these photos

are posed so the variety is somewhat limited.  I was hoping to see clothing, accouterments, and 

insignia as worn in the field; nevertheless, after some patient sifting I did find a few that captured

my attention.

 

 

In order to post this image to the USMF quite a bit of compression was required.  In its full size

all the detail can clearly be seen.

 

Lt. F.J. Reardon, 104th Inf. Rgmt, Co. I

 

In addition to his crossed rifles infantry insignia, he appears to also display his state guard (Mass?)

insignia.  It can be clearly seen in the full sized image that he is wearing a 2nd pattern M1912 pistol

belt, as no button snap can be seen.  The Magazine Pockets, Web, Double do not appear to have

the woven re-enforcement seen on c. 1916 specimens; therefore, this is likely a rimless eagle snap

1st pattern type.  Suspended at the level of the soldier's right hand is a personal purchase No. 306

Mills automatic pistol holster, army model.   Because of its position well below the level of the M1912

pistol belt, it can be positively as the Mills No. 306 since the Mills No. 305 isn't a 'drop type' and 

would have attached to the belt in a much higher position.  The brass tip identifies this as one of Mills

web holsters, and not a leather US issued holster.   The US Army never adopted this type of holster,

but as a personal purchase item it does appear in period photographs like this one from time-to-time.

 

 

 

 

 

Attached Images

  • 1st Lt. Frank J. Reardon, 104th Infantry Co. I.jpg


#4 US Victory Museum

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:43 PM

What immediately stands out in this image is that the soldier has a Krag bayonet attached to a M1910

garrison belt; the puckered pocket with a rimmed eagle snap can be seen.

Attached Images

  • ocm32299504_0033-0.jpg


#5 US Victory Museum

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:59 PM

This appears to be the Spec 1222 cravat (approved 1915-Mar-16).   Those that conform to the

military specification have a notable weave pattern that distinguishes them from civilian black ties.

 

I laugh (somewhat) when I think about how long it took me to find one for my collection.  For such

a ubiquitous, and silly little item they have proven to be very much uncommon in the modern era.

I suspect that most continued to be worn post-service as a neck tie in civilian life and thus were

worn out through attrition (consumptive use of an artifact) and disposed of.

 

On his right collar, a Lt. bar and state insignia (MASS) can be observed; on the contra-lateral his

branch of service, 1st Artillery is seen.

 

A small section of chain (fob) can be seen extending into his pocket.

 

Once again, all this can be easily seen in the full size uncompressed images.

 

 

 

 

Attached Images

  • ocm32299504_4903-0.jpg


#6 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:02 PM

After looking at a few hundred image tiles per day, I finally made it through all 8400+ photos.

By this, I mean that I looked at all the tiles, and only opened for full viewing those tiles that

appeared to contain something of interest.

 

The vast majority of the photos were taken indoors and similarly posed.  Those troops belonging

to Co. I of the 104th Infantry were photographed outdoors wearing wool shirts (without coats),

a mix of wool or cotton trousers, campaign hats, and either a M1907, or M1910 cartridge belt.

 

The seated posed photos showed soldiers in full uniform, either summer cotton, or wool.  These

soldiers wore either a campaign hat, or the olive drab service cap first issued in 1911 after the

army dropped the bell crown style.   My impression is that there was roughly a 50-50 split between

these two styles of hats used.   It dawned upon me, after looking at the first few hundreds of images,

that even the soldiers wearing summer cotton uniforms were all wearing wool service caps; then

I remembered that the cotton khaki service cap (bell crown style) was issued starting in 1906 and

discontinued by around 1910.   Those caps made of cotton after 1911 are personal purchase items.

I don't recall seeing any service cap other than woolen ones appearing in these photos.  Not one of

those pictures showed the enlisted cap disk.

 

Occasionally I shall update this post with a few images that I downloaded because they contained

something unique or of interest.

 

I'll start with this image today: Mr. H. Kiedenaar, 101st Infantry, Co. C.

I think he lied about his age.

 

 

Attached Images

  • H. Kiedenaar, 101st Infantry Co. C.jpg


#7 US Victory Museum

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:05 PM

Yet another interesting photo

 

Lieut. Forrest Grayson, Aviation Corps

 

One quick look at the oil stains Lt. Grayson's breeches would seem to suggest that

he also moonlighted as his own mechanic/grease-monkey.

 

Attached Images

  • Lieut. Forrest Grayson, Aviation Corps _b.jpg


#8 US Victory Museum

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:49 AM

December Update

 

Harold E. Beckwith, 26th Division (Yankee), 104th Inf. Regiment, Co. I.

 

As this image was taken state-side, Mr. Beckwith is attired in the dress of the regular

army, and not the AEF.   Nevertheless, both his shirt and leggings are some what out

of time for when this photo was taken.

 

The leggings are the spec. 1097, 1910 pattern.

 

The shirt is a personal purchase variation of the spec 994 wool shirt produced from

Aug-1908 through Oct-1910.   The flapless pockets are tapered, but not completely

rounded as called for in the specification.  There are four buttons along the front

placket, not three.  

 

He's equipped with an early M1910 cartridge belt with eagle snaps.

Attached Images

  • Harold E. Beckwith, Co. I., 104th Infantry.jpg


#9 cwnorma

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:49 AM

Very cool.  This archive, while limited in some ways, is a really interesting resource!

 

Thanks for taking the time to pick out some exceptional examples.

 

C




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