JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 1015
This is another (number 15 or so) in a series of posts on images from my News Service Photographs of WWI collection. All thousand or so of them were made in the last half of 1918, in the last months of the grueling conflict, and were intended to be used by newspaper and magazines to illustrate stories about the war. An editor would send off a request to one of these agencies for, say, a photograph of marching American nurses, and the agency would send one back (for a fee) along with a caption. There's really no way for me to determine if these photos were ever published, and there is never an attribution for the photographer.
[Another example in this series can be found here. Also if you enter the search term for news service photo in the google site search box you'll get 55 or so returns.]
This is the first installment of women at war--there should be another 35 or so coming soon.
Also I've micromanaged the prints, pulling out a detail from each one of them, a detail of an appealing portrait perhaps difficult to see int he overall original.
comes from the sweeping woman at right, taking care of some debris in a munitions factory in October 1918, sweeping as the King and Queen of England stroll by on a visit/inspection. I suspect she was instructed to say nothing and to not look up from her work. She doesn't look nervous to me, though--her hands aren't tightly gripped around the broom handle, and her face looks relaxed...
WRAF in track and field exercises, Kent. This is the third-place finisher, running while leaning back, trying to keep everything in place, mouth closed, arms down--pretty good results from such an awkward and highly-mannered style of running. Also, the woman to her right is a dead-ringer for Alan Turing (if you've ever seen the Enigma Man running at track, I think you'd have to agree.)
The great Alan Turing
Detail of the image of the Forestry Corps of the Women's Land Army of England, working at cutting telegraph poles on some great-looking draught horses. (The horse on the right--ears back--looks big and unhappy.) I love that this woman is wearing a tie.