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December 26, 2011

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Great post, I recently posted on Abbott Thayer...artist, naturalist and "father of camouflage."

http://www.jcwebbstudios.com/2011/12/hark.html

While living in Virginia years ago, stopping by your shop when visiting my sister in Georgetown was such a treat and adventure. Prints I purchased there still hang in my studio/office

Enjoying your blog, happy to have discovered it

John F. Ptak

Thanks very much for the rememberance and for the link to Thayer. I was thinking about him for the post but then it got away a bit; also he was a little outside the razzle part of what I was interested in, though there are of course examples of razzle camo in the natural world as well.

D

The photo you have on this blog page was taken in Union Square in New York City on July 11-12, 1918. It shows members of the Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps, in the process of applying a brightly-colored “dazzle camouflage” scheme (which they designed) to the outer surface of the USS Recruit. This was not a functioning ship; it was a wooden recruiting station in the shape of a battleship. As described by Bessie Rowland James in For God, For Country, For Home (NY: G.P Putnam’s Sons, 1920), this proved to be an effective way of recruiting: “Tanks, ambulances, and trucks were camouflaged at the request of different branches of the Government to encourage recruiting, for wherever the [women] camoufleurs went in their uniforms, spreading their bright paints, a crowd was sure to gather.” James’ eyewitness description of this camouflage unit for women, along with other photographs and news reports, are included in a new anthology of writings about WWI ship camouflage, titled SHIP SHAPE: A Dazzle Camouflage Sourcebook, due out in early 2012.

John F. Ptak

Thanks very much for this piece of information-I hadn't any idea they were working on the Recuit. As a matter of fact I made a short post here about the Recruit about two years ago: http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2009/03/a-battleship-in-union-square-the-uss-recruit-1917-the-invention-of-the-word-landship.html
IF you look closely at the bottom picture you can see the work on the razzle beginning... AGAIN, THANKS so much for this assistance.

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