vintage wartime


For the last Woman Crush Wednesday of Women’s History Month, a meditation on the roles - real and symbolic - that American women have played in wartime propaganda. Click the images for information about the posters and the collections they come from. 

US soldier says farewell at Penn Station (Pennsylvania Station, New York), before being posted abroad in December 1943. (Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt) Eisenstaedt when speaking of the time he photographed American soldiers saying farewell to their wives and sweethearts in 1943 on assignment for ‘Life’ Magazine: “I just kept motionless like a statue.” he said. “They never saw me clicking away. For the kind of photography I do, one has to be very unobtrusive and to blend in with the crowd.”

(Colorised by Gisele Nash from America)

The Model 1870/87/15 Italian Vetterli bolt action rifle,

During World War I a widespread shortage of arms lead many nations to convert stocks of their old, obsolete black powder cartridge rifles into modern smokeless rifles. In 1915 the Italian Government did the same, restoring and re-arsenalling 1887  vintage Vetterli rifles for wartime use.  To make the conversion, first the rifle’s caliber was changed from a 10.35X47R blackpowder cartridge to the 6.5x52 Carcano smokeless powder cartridge.  This was done by installing a barrel insert, machining the chamber for a longer length cartridge, and replacing the extractor in order to extract rimless cartridges.  Finally, the older four round Vitali magazine was removed and replaced with a modern Mannlicher style 6 round magazine.

The Model 1870/87/15 Vetterli conversions were not meant to be used as frontline combat weapons.  In fact, testing revealed that the conversions couldn’t handle prolonged firing with smokeless powder cartridges.  Rather, the rifle was meant to arm rear echelon troops and reserves, thus freeing up more standard issue Carcano infantry rifles for frontline troops.  It is unknown exactly how many of these conversions were made.