The Lost Generation: World War I Poetry: World War I Artifacts

U.S. Army Garrison Cap

World War I, U.S. Army garrison cap. From the Historical Collection, donated by Ponder Lee Brown (74. 1. 48).

U.S. Army Brodie Helmet

World War I, U.S. Army Brodie helmet. From the Historical Collection, donated by Mrs. Olive M. Johnson (G. 301).

U.S. Army Officer’s Visor Hat

World War I, U.S. Army officer’s visor hat. From the Historical Collection (46. 40).

U.S. Officer’s Campaign Hat

World War I, U.S. officer’s campaign hat. From the Historical Collections (2200).

Gas Mask

World War I, Small box gas mask. From the Alvin Mansfield Owsley Collection (HM. 15).

World War I, Gas mask time card. From the Alvin Mansfield Owsley Collection (HM. 15).

This World War I era gas mask is a type of “small box respirator” which utilized activated charcoal (made from peach pits or the pits of other stone fruits) to cleanse the air. There is a small valve, inside the mask behind the tube, which the wearer would use to breathe through their mouth, and a clip inside the mask which would squeeze their nose closed. The card that accompanies the mask is meant to be used to keep track of the amount of time the mask is worn, so that the wearer will know when to replace the charcoal for optimal air purification.

These items were issued to Alvin Mansfield Owsley, who served during World War I in the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard.

Find out more about the Owsley Collection in the Finding Aid.

U.S. Army Jacket

World War I, U.S. Army wool jacket. From the Historical Collection, donated by Watt L. Black (74. 7. 4).

36th National Guard Private’s Jacket

World War I, 36th National Guard, Texas, Private’s wool jacket. From the Historical Collection, donated by Mary Helen Rucker (46. 40).

This jacket was worn by George N. Rucker who was stationed at Camp Travis in San Antonio, Texas, during World War I. The arrowhead patch with the “T” in the center represents the 36th infantry division of the Texas Army National Guard, which was made up of Texans and Oklahomans. The silver chevron patch lower on the sleeve represents stateside service of at least six months. A second silver chevron patch would have been added for an additional six months served, so we can tell that Rucker only served between six and eleven months. The red chevron near the shoulder represents honorable discharge.

Ammunition Belt

World War I, U.S. Army ammunition belt. From the Historical Collection (112).

Mess Kit

World War I, U.S. Army mess kit. From the J.W. Bates Collection (B. 9. 356a-e).

U.S.S. Madawaska, Instructions for Troops Card

World War I, U.S.S. Madawaska “Instructions for Troops” card. From the Victor Lauderdale Collection (AR0229).

This card was issued to soldiers making the transatlantic journey to or from Europe on the U.S.S. Madawaska, during World War I. The card lists the rules for non-Naval soldiers onboard the ship, including safety precautions, such as no smoking on deck after sunset or before sunrise so that the glowing cigarette won’t reveal their position to enemy ships, as well as information about meals, and the expected behavior of the soldiers. The final instruction on the card states that spitting on the deck will not be tolerated as it is “a filthy, unsanitary habit.” The lower half of this card has a tabel indicating three meals for each day of the week, and the meals would have holes punched in them as the soldier acquired his food.

Find out more about the Lauderdale Collection in the Finding Aid.

German Sword and Scabbard

World War I, German sword and scabbard. From the Historical Collection, donated by Fred Minor (31. 10a, b).

Artillery Shell Casings

World War I, Artillery shell casings. From the Historical Collection (No# (111), No# (112)).

Photograph of Four Soldiers

World War I, Photograph of four soldiers. From the World War I Collection (AR0819).

This photograph of four soldiers, during World War I, was taken at Camp Bullis, Leon Springs, Texas in 1918 while on maneuvers with the 359th Infantry, 90th Division, as is indicated by the hand written information on the photograph. The men are numbered 1 through 4 from left to right, and each of their fates are listed below.

  1. Captain Vanderkooi- wounded, captured and maimed for life in front of [Pagny] Sept. 16, 1918. Found in German Hospital in Metz at the armistic.

  2. Lieutenant Rex Cunningham- killed in action Sept. 12, 1918 in St. Mihiel Offensive.

  3. Lieutenant Sam Williams- wounded Sept. 12, 1918 at St. Mihiel and Nov. 10, 1918 in Muese-Argonne.

  4. Lieutenant Dan Leiper- D.S.C.- killed during [our] attack in Meuse-Argonne on 11-2-18.

Find out more about the World War I Collection in the Finding Aid.

For further information about the 90th Division and the 359th Infantry, look at A History of the 90th Division by George Wythe. This text was uploaded to the Internet Archive by the University of Michigan.

Red Cross Poster

World War I, Red Cross poster, 1919. From the World War I Collection (AR0819).

Find out more about the World War I Collection in the Finding Aid.

Red Cross Knitting Needles

World War I, Red Cross knitting needles and packaging. From the World War I Materials Collection, donated by Susan Farrar Martin (TT820 .R43 1914).

Federal Food Administrator Pledge Card

World War I, Federal Food Administrator pledge card. From the World War I Collection (AR0819).

Find out more about the World War I Collection in the Finding Aid.

United War-Work Campaign Poster

World War I, United War-Work Campaign poster. From the World War I Collection (AR0819).

Find out more about the World War I Collection in the Finding Aid.

4th Liberty Loan Honor Roll Poster

World War I, 4th Liberty Loan “Honor Roll” poster. From the World War I Materials Collection (T 1.25/7:4/12 B).

Third Liberty Loan Pin

World War I, Third Liberty Loan pin. From the World War I Materials Collection (HG4936. T55 P56 1918).

Victory Liberty Loan Honor Roll Poster

World War I, Victory Liberty Loan “Honor Roll” poster. From the World War I Materials Collection (T 1.27/25:5/13-C)

Victory Liberty Loan Medallion

World War I, Vicotry Liberty Loan medallion. From the World War I Materials Collection (HG4936. V53 M43 1919).

The front of this medlaion shows the U.S. Treasury building and a bald eagle below it.

The back reads: “Made from captured German cannon

Awarded by the U.S. Treasury Department for patriotic service in [sic] behalf of the Liberty Loans”

Bradley Letters

Transcribed letters to Mr. Ed Bradley, #11 & #18. From the World War I Collection (AR0819).

The letter to Mr. Ed Bradley on Dec 22, 1918, by Sgt. B.F. Loveless describes, rather frankly and graphically, the fighting that Sgt. Loveless experienced during World War I. Much of the grusome fighting that he shares involves the innovative weaponry of the time such as machine guns, artillery shells, land mines, and poison gases.

The letter to Mr. Ed Bradley on April 16, 1919 is from an unknown sender. The letters in the Bradley collection are from multiple individuals, and with the name cut off after the salutation, we cannot tell who sent the letter. In this letter, the writer describes the loss of his best friend and others from his company, during a battle on Hill 60, a battlefield in Belgium, which was fought over throughout the war as it offered a valauble vantage point.

Find out more about the World War I Collection in the Finding Aid.

Postcards

Postcards with nothing written on the back, only have the front image displayed.

Additional Links

top