Chewing Gum in WWI (Photos)

Chewing gum has a surprisingly storied history.  Archaeologists have found evidence that the ancient Greeks, the Mayans, and the Aztecs all chewed sticky substances.  It was not until the mid 19th century, however, that American entrepreneurs began mass producing gum.  By the 20th century, gum had become a staple of American life, so much so … Continue reading Chewing Gum in WWI (Photos)

Celebration of Passover (Photos)

This post was written in collaboration with Meghan Ryan Guthorn. The Jewish celebration of Passover began this year on April 19th, 2019. In honor of the holiday, the Still Pictures Branch pulled together some images of servicemen celebrating Passover around the world through the years. The images below depict celebrations from 1918 to 1985, in … Continue reading Celebration of Passover (Photos)

John Purroy Mitchel: The Boy Mayor of New York

This post was written by Harry Kidd.  Harry is a volunteer at the National Archives working on textual and photographic digitization projects.  Harry is a former Navy photographer himself and came across this story while researching military photographers.  John Purroy Mitchel (1879 – 1918) was a native New Yorker. Trained as a lawyer, he gained … Continue reading John Purroy Mitchel: The Boy Mayor of New York

Rescue from Fire Island

This post was written by Harry Kidd.  Harry is a volunteer at the National Archives working on textual and photographic digitization projects.  Harry is a former Navy photographer himself and came across this story while researching military photographers.  In the early morning of January 1st 1919 Surfman Roger Smith reported sighting the U.S.S. Northern Pacific … Continue reading Rescue from Fire Island

Spotlight: “Our Wings of Victory,” the Manufacture of Military Aeroplanes During WWI

 "To fill the skies of France with fighting aircraft--that was America's tremendous task. What we did and what we have accomplished of that task is here fully revealed for the first time" reads an intertitle slate from the film Our Wings of Victory which highlights the production of American-made aircraft during World War I. World War I was … Continue reading Spotlight: “Our Wings of Victory,” the Manufacture of Military Aeroplanes During WWI

Accessing World War I Photos in the Digital Age

April 6 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, as well as the culmination of a massive digitization project from the National Archives. Through a generous donation made by an anonymous donor, the National Archives was able to digitize over 110,000 photographs and nearly 300 reels of film related to … Continue reading Accessing World War I Photos in the Digital Age

Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action

You may remember our July 2016 post about the Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps, made up of women artists who developed camouflage for use by American troops in Europe during World War I. The website Atlas Obscura also featured the story and photos in October 2016. The Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps photos held by the National … Continue reading Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action

Spotlight: Baking in WWI

Ever wonder what people of the past were munching on? Well, in WWI, due to food rationing efforts, they were munching on some classic desserts made with unusual ingredient substitutions. Check out some of those experimental recipes below, courtesy of RG 4-G: the U.S. Food Administration. Unfortunately, not all of the experimental recipes survive today. Here is a … Continue reading Spotlight: Baking in WWI

Spotlight: War Time Candies

Imagine a world where no one could give chocolates to their valentine, or send holiday cookies to their family, or hand out candy to adorable trick-or-treaters, or indulge in some after dinner Thanksgiving pie. Imagine a world where every cherished culinary tradition is threatened - especially those traditions which include sweets. Well, such a world is not as far away as one might … Continue reading Spotlight: War Time Candies

Spotlight: American Cities

This week's images are streetscapes of American cities from 1917 and 1918. Images were pulled from RG 4-G: U.S.Food Administration. Do you recognize any of these places? Can you imagine walking along these streets during WWI?     For more on WWI era food rationing, see "Spotlight: War Time Candies" and "Spotlight: Baking in WWI."