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Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas patriotic photographs and the work of others

Started by teufelhunde.ret , Aug 01 2009 03:18 AM

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#1 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:18 AM

I have long been fascinated with these photographs and hope to someday acquire some originals. Over time have rounded up these digital copies and here are a few with background on the techniques used to get these images along with works from others...

"On a stifling July day in 1918, 18,000 officers and soldiers posed as Lady Liberty on the parade [drill] grounds at Camp Dodge." (…) "According to a July 3, 1986, story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, many men fainted—they were dressed in woolen uniforms—as the temperature neared 105 degrees Farenheit [41 degrees Celsius]. The photo, taken from the top of a specially constructed tower by a Chicago photography studio, Mole & Thomas, was intended to help promote the sale of war bonds but was never used." (Grover 1987)

Human_Statuue_of_Liberty_camp_dodge_des_moines_IA.jpg


Due to a perspective distortion, there are more men at the top of the Mole & Thomas photos, than there at the bottom. For example, in "Human Statue of Liberty" photo, the flame of the torch was formed with help of 2/3 of a total number of men available for the photoshoot. Roughly speaking, out of 18,000 people, the whole torch element took in 16,000 men, while the rest of the "statue" was formed only using 2,000 people.

molethomas3.gif


Mole & Thomas were using 11 x 14 inch view camera, which was positioned on a 24-meters-high tower (80 feet). Firstly, the put the outlay (wireframe) of a desired image on a glass plate in Mr. Mole's camera. Then, with help of assistants, the image trace that was seen from the camera, was "transferred" to the ground beneath the tower. Armed with a megaphone and a long stick with a white flag on it (so it is seen from the distance), Mole was able to show the assistants how and where plot the curves of the desired image. The preparations for the shoot took several weeks and the actual positioning of people—several hours. I would say it was a pretty remarkable display of planning and logistics skills.

As one person, whose great grandfather took part in the photoshoot, explains the mistery behind the "Human Statue of Liberty":
"The design for the living picture was laid out at the drill ground at Camp Dodge, situated in the beautiful valley of the Des Moines River. Thousands of yards of white tape were fastened to the ground and formed the outlines on which 18,000 officers and men marched to their respective positions.

In this body of soldiers are any hundreds of men of foreign birth, born of parents whose first impression of the Land of Freedom and Promise was of the world's greatest colossus standing with beacon light at the portal of a nation of free people, holding aloft a torch symbolic of the light of liberty which the statue represents. Side by side with native sons these men, with unstinted patriotism, now offer to sacrifice not only their liberty but even life itself for our beloved country.

The day on which the photograph was taken was extremely hot and the heat was intensified by the mass formation of men. The dimensions of the platting for the picture seem astonishing. The camera was placed on a high tower. From the position nearest the camera occupied by Colonel Newman and his staff, to the last man at the top of the torch as platted on the ground was 1,235 feet, or approximately a quarter of a mile."

"Arthur S. Mole (born 1889 in England - died 1983 in the United States) was an English commercial artist who became famous for a series of "living photographs" made during World War I, in which tens of thousands of soldiers, reservists and other members of the military were arranged to form massive compositions." As Louis Kaplan, in "A Patriotic Mole: A Living Photograph" wrote: "Mole's photos assert, bolster, and recover the image of American national identity via photographic imaging. Moreover, these military formations serve as rallying points to support U.S. involvement in the war and to ward off any isolationist tendencies." http://behindthephot...tic-photographs

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 01 August 2009 - 04:24 AM.


#2 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:22 AM

Living Emblem of the United States Marines. 100 Officers & 9000 Enlisted Men. Marine Barracks 1919, Paris Island, S.C. Brigadier General J.H. Pendleton, Commanding

Mole___Thomas_parris_island_1919.jpg


Aerial photograph of over 9,000 Marines based at Paris Island, South Carolina forming the emblem of the U.S. Marines -- a map of the Americas within an anchor surmounted by a bald eagle. This photograph was taken by Mole & Thomas, a Chicago firm famous for such patriotic bird's-eye group shots at military bases after World War I.

#3 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:27 AM

Mole & Thomas, The Living Uncle Sam 1919 Camp Lee VA - 19000 officers & men


LivingUncleSam_camp_lee_va.jpg



#4 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:31 AM

Mole & Thomas, Living Portrait of Woodrow Wilson, 1918, Camp Sherman Ohio, 21,000 officers and men

WoodrowWilson_Mole___Thomas.jpg



#5 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:34 AM

Mole & Thomas, Machine Gun Insignia – Machine Gun Training Center, 1918 Camp Hadcock, Augsta GA. 22,500 officers and men


MachineGun_camp_hancock_augusta_ga.jpg



#6 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:37 AM

Mole & Thomas, The Human Liberty Bell, 1918, Camp Dix New Jersy, 25,000 officers and men


LibertyBell_camp_dix_new_jersy.jpg



#7 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:39 AM

Mole & Thomas, The Human American Eagle, 1918, Camp Gordan, Atlanta Ga. 12,500 officers, nurses and men.

AmEagle_camp_gordon_atlanta_ga.jpg


Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 01 August 2009 - 03:40 AM.


#8 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:46 AM

Mole & Thomas, Living Insignia of the 27th Division, 1919, 10,000 officers and men


27thDiv_new_york__s_own.jpg



#9 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:49 AM

Mole & Thomas, The Human U.S. Shield, 1918, Camp Custer, Mich. 30,000 officers and men.

human_shield_camp_custer_battle_creek_mich.jpg



#10 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:53 AM

E.O. Goldbeck photo, Hawaiian Division – Schofield Barracks, San Antonia TX, 1926

E.O._Goldbeck_HawaiianDivision_san_antonia_tx.jpg



#11 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:56 AM

Photographer Unknown, Entire Personnel 1st Division, Formed a Living Insignia, 1940

entire_1stDivision_1940_photog_unknown.jpg



#12 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:57 AM

Newman Photo, Animated Crest 34th Division, Camp Cody, New Mexico, 1918

Newman_Photo__sandstorm_Division_camp_cody_1918.jpg



#13 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:01 AM

E.H. Morrison photgraph, Official Seal of the 11th Division, c. 1918

MPH_2057__2011th_20Division.jpg



#14 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:05 AM

E.O. Goldbeck photograph, Indoctrination Division, Air Training Command, Lackland, Air Base San Antonio, TX, 1947

MPH_2062__20Indoctrination_20Division_20AirTraining.jpg



#15 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:08 AM

Photographer Unknown, Grenzhausen, Germany, 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Division, 1919

MPH_2053__201stField_20Artillery_20Brigade.jpg



#16 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:10 AM

Photographer Unknown, 209th Engineers, Camp Sheridan, ALA, 1919

MPH_2058__20209th_20Engineers.jpg



#17 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:13 AM

Living Flag, Photographer Unknown, c1920

MPH_2061__20LivingFlag.jpg



#18 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:16 AM

Mole & Thomas., Y.M.C.A. emblem formed by officers, men, and camp activity workers at Camp Wheeler, Ga c1918

3b47775r.jpg



#19 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:20 AM

Mole & Thomas, The Living allied flags; Bluejackets at U.S. Naval Training Station, Pelham Bay, New York. c.1918

3b47776r.jpg



#20 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:22 AM

Mole & Thomas, U.S. Naval Rifle Range, Camp Logan, Ill c1918

3b47774r.jpg




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