Down the Rabbit Hole: Bohumil Shimek and the onset of WWI

This post was written by Julia Blase, Field Book Project Manager. It first appeared on the Field Books Project Blog here. Recently, I sat down to scan two diaries of Bohumil Shimek, a botanist, zoologist, and geologist of Czech descent whose field books came to the Smithsonian along with his extensive collection of specimens after his death in 1937. He is well-known for his long career and extensive study of the geology and ecology of more »

Up for Adoption: Der Weltkrieg

This cigarette card collector’s book was produced and compiled in Germany in the late 1930’s as a commemoration of World War I, providing a visual record of scenes both on the front and at home. The war theme was popular in the 1930s and was later used for propaganda purposes during the growth of Nazism.

Escadrille Lafayette: American Volunteers in the French Air Service

While the official US involvement in World War I (WWI) did not occur until April of 1917, unofficially the US volunteered military services as part of a squadron known as the Escadrille Lafayette or Escadrille Americaine, as part of the French Air Service.

Windsock Datafiles

Researchers have indicated that the Windsock Datafiles are an excellent reference for anyone interested in World War I aviation.

New and Notable—National Museum of American History Library

The Libraries would like to highlight some more new and diverse titles that have been added recently to the National Museum of American History Library.

U.S. Military Postal Service to the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, 1918 – 1920

Mail service to any forces in combat zones was a challenge. This was no different for the Americans in Siberia. Letters to and from soldiers were censored, and addresses to Siberia were ambiguous to preserve secrecy in troop location and movement. Correspondence to soldiers would be addressed simply to “A.E.F. Siberia”.

Uncle Sam Wants You

J. Bolgiano & Son, Bolgiano's 100 Years (1918), Baltimore, MD, United States. Today is Uncle Sam's Birthday. His origins are connected to the War of 1812 (much earlier than I ever imagined). Meat packer Samuel Wilson shipped provisions to soldiers in barrels marked "U.S.," which soldiers jokingly referred to as being sent from their "Uncle Sam." It seems that war, patriotism and industry have always gone hand-in-hand. The popular and most familiar depiction of this personification of the United States was used as a recruiting poster during the First World War. This seed catalog from 1918 from the Libraries' trade literature collection promotes growing vegetables to "solve the problem of the feeding of the nations." But it also appears as if Uncle Sam may be calling on this tomato farmer to set down his basket and join the patriotic soldier and sailor in the field's background. Good luck, soldier. —Elizabeth Periale The Uncle Sam Memorial Statue, (sculpture) “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner,” Harper’s Weekly, November 20, 1869, p.745. Wood engraving. Uncle more »

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