Category: tbt

                                     Tidying up the Palace for the Big Day

June 1919, French ladies flattening the rugs in the
Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles, where the Treaty of Peace will be signed June 28 1919 © Albert Harlingue/Roger-Viollet,

                                                                    Bone Dry

‘The Prohibition Law went into effect in
June 1919, just in time to greet the million and more American soldiers who
were returning from the War in France and who had acquired abroad a taste for
wines and spirits only to find their own beloved native land had gone bone dry. But
not for long. Within days after
the Prohibition Law had gone into effect, the illegal traffic in drinks was
underway and in a big way, never to be checked until Repeal in 1933′

Decanter Magazine

Illustration: a “changed” Lady
Liberty, and a prohibitionist welcome a returning soldier – Stars and Stripes, June 1919 – The
A.E.F. in Cartoon By Wally – The National WW1 Museum and Memorial

Note: The Wartime
Prohibition Act took effect June 30, 1919, with July 1, 1919 becoming known as
the “Thirsty-First”.

Verdun, France

“The walls are covered
with scribbled names, home towns and dates: Eric Deutsch, Dusseldorf, 1916;
Francois Rozier, Paris, 1917; Lucien Olivier, Lille, 1939. Now there are names
like Karl Schreiber, Konigsberg 1942, and Paul Marts, Wilkes-Barre, Pa,
1941. The American names are big and black and seem to blot out the others.

One of them says: “Austin White, Chicago, Illinois, 1918 and 1944. This is
the last time I want to write my name here

1944, in Fort de Vaux, Verdun, France – “VERDUN, Then and Now” 1918-1944, by American Sergeant Bill Davidson for Yank Magazine

                                                           “Another short snappy drill“

from the occasional “One — two — three — four” only a few commands are
given. One of these may be "Eyes
up, off
the ground, men!”
Soon the long- looked-for rest comes. Another short snappy drill and the skipper* says: “You fellows did fine
today, I am going to turn you in early."’

Drill Sergeant

1919 – A
Collection of Articles Containing the Experiences of a Small Unit While
Training for a Great Conflict – Photo: May 1919, American soldiers training in Esternach,
Luxembourg – The 33rd Division in Luxembourg, 1918-1919


“Nasty newspapers! Horrid reporters and prying and unpatriotic inquisitiveness!”

the Kaiser’s close friend, began to have doubts about Wilhelm’s mental health and felt as if he were sitting on a powder keg: “Any
political news might provoke further outbreaks of the uncontrollable royal
temper. His Majesty no longer has himself under control. Leuthold [Wilhelm’s personal physician] just
told me that he is at a loss. … I also see no way out but to wait quietly and
pray to God
that no complicated things come before His Majesty, because more scenes
could lead to some sort of unpredictable nervous crisis.
Wilhelm’s extreme nervousness is now aroused not merely by politics, but
by virtually every topic including the weather. He wanders around as if in a
dream world and his ego develops into an ever greater phantom”…’

WW1 – The Entourage
of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1888-1918
Kaiser Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of
Prussia, reigning from 1888 until his abdication in November 1918 shortly
before Germany’s defeat in WW1.

Illustration: 1918, Cornered. Kaiser’s temper tantrum after
having read the Daily Telegraph newspaper – Punch.


‘Take me where you like”

“I must have ridden round the town several times without finding an entrance. It was now getting
bitterly cold and, having smoked all my tobacco, I was utterly fed up and on
the point of off-saddling and using the saddle blanket to wrap round me till
daylight came, when I noticed my mare pulling in a certain direction. In a fit of despair I dropped the reins on
her neck and said, “Take me where you like”, and off she went. A few minutes
later, I was nearly thrown out of the saddle when she leapt over a trench, but a
few minutes after that, she had taken me straight back to our horse lines. Never before had I realized what a pal a horse could be.”

Farewell to the Horses: Diary of a British
Tommy 1915-1919
– Photo: Royal Engineers Dispatch Rider
Howard Hands –‏ @DanHillHistory’s
awesome twitter feed.

                                                          “Don’t say I got too
fat over here”

will possibly see me home soon, but it will be a while before we get mustered out. Maybe I won’t be a
happy boy. Never again, George. I am sending you a picture. Don’t say I got too
fat over here. I just started to drink beer again!
Ha! ha! I guess it will be dry by the time I get back there, but you know,
George, we will get it somewhere, won’t we?”

1919, Eppigen, Germany, American soldier’s letter to his best friend at home – “Letters
From Our Boys Over There”– The American Flint, Volume 10

–  Photo: 1919, “Prosit!” American soldiers drinking beer.

Note:  May 4th 1919, in the French newspaper “Le Miroir” an article with photos about the looming prohibition in America “America Wants to Keep Drinking Beer”

                                     “Give me five, my baby, your daddy’s coming home”

A take on WW1 song  “Clap your hands, my
baby, for your daddy’s coming home”

Photo: 1919 – An interesting photo as it looks like the
lady and the little girl are high fiving.
However, it does not
appear that people were high fiving back then. It is said that the first documented high five took place
in 1977. Source

Photo Source: Wayne’s Wares and Wears

“No need to describe the beverage
which these boys are indulging in. It is real French BEER.”

Photo: May 1919, American soldiers on
leave in the South of France, enjoying a petite bière, at the Café de Paris in
Monte Carlo
– Photo and its legend: “Images from
“Over There”: Personal Photography of America’s Expeditionary Forces
in WWI and Occupation” Stephen C. McGeorge

 On this photo, Stephen C. McGeorge
comments: “images of adult beverage-drinking are quite common in AEF photos,
particularly in the post-Armistice period. Looming prohibition in the United
States is thus commented on, often quite directly.”

‘Man, in his effort to harness the
forces of Nature, has produced two beautiful wind drinking
contrivances — the windmill and the sailing ship. There is a beauty, individual and unique, in every sailing ship and windmill, a charm direct and personal as the charm of a friend.’

Ralph Hale
WW1 poet – Photo: WW1, an American ambulance in Flanders, a
land of windmills – Friends of France,
the Field Service of the American Ambulance

Note: in 1919, wind energy theory was developed by Wind Turbine German physicist
Albert Betz and published in his book on wind energy and its use in windmills.