Zeppelins

Zeppelins were a type of rigid airship used during World War I by the Germans as both reconnaissance vessels and for air raids. Named after the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the air ships were developed in the late 19th century. The ships were able to achieve 20 mph at top speed, and could fly…

Lafayette Escadrille – Planes

During the course of World War 1, five generations of fighter planes appeared, from 1914-1918. Bombers also were in use. The Lafayette Escadrille pilots called the early bombers “baby carriages” because of their boxy, bulky appearance and their pilots were called “truck drivers.” In the early days, the bomb would be dropped by hand as the bomber…

Lafayette Escadrille – Pilots

The Lafayette Escadrille had 38 American pilots along with their French commander Captain Georges Thenault and two French lieutenants. The ages of the pilots ranged from 20 to 40 years of age and thirty had college degrees or had been in college when they volunteered. The majority of them were from the Eastern part of the…

Lafayette Escadrille

When Germany invaded France and declared war on August 3, 1914, there was in Paris a group of young American men who wanted to volunteer and join the fight for France. There have always been Americans in Paris, particularly since the French nobleman, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette came…

Men’s Fashion Post-WII: From Frills to Informality

Men’s Fashion Post WWI: From Frills to Informality Though WWI had a significant impact on women’s fashion and most men donned a military uniform during this period, the effect of the war can still be seen in men’s fashion.  In post-WWI society, gone were the days of the ostentatious and opulent dress of the Edwardian…

Freedom through Fashion

Check out this short video from the Wall Street Journal discussing how the war led to women’s freedom, especially when it comes to fashion.  What do you think?  Can freedom be defined through fashion?

Coco Chanel: Because Who Doesn’t Love a Cardigan?

In Paris December 1918 everyone was dressed in black. Minimal jewelry, often fashioned out of ammunition or brooches holding a loved one’s strand of hair, donned those reuniting or grieving (Brower). Edwardian fashions could still be seen, but a young woman named Coco Chanel had set up shop at 31 Rue de Cambon offering simple…

The War is Long, but Skirts are Short

In the years leading up to the war, women’s fashion was brightly colored and ornate. Paul Poiret was the most prominent designer of the time, drawing his inspiration from many Eastern sources such as the Russian ballet and the Japanese kimono. Practical is the last word anyone would use to describe these styles; just consider…

Patriotic Food Show

As the old saw goes, an army travels on its stomach, and to feed an army there must be readily available foodstuff, and plenty of it.  In order to provision the fighting troops, sacrifices were necessary at home and the U.S. Food Administration put out a series of posters regarding conservation rules. It is simple…