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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Army Camp: 1917

Army Camp: 1917

June 21, 1917. Monmouth Park, New Jersey. "Signal Corps men dancing." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

A Social Event

Evidently a social event without stigma. Lumberjacks had similar socials to the tune of a fiddler. My dad who once worked in a lumbercamp said, "the better dancer always takes the lead." One rule had precident, river hog shoes prohibited at all dances.

Good clean fun.

Most of the soldiers in 1917 would have just come off the farm. They knew what sex was for and that it didn't have much to do with what would eventually be defined by the 60s or by "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

They also knew what humor was for, wherever it was found.

I'd still like to know who decides who leads. Maybe they switch back and forth? It would have been poor practice for half the "couple" if only one of them ever got to lead.

The leather leggings are handsome. My grandfather saved a set of them from "The War" but they disappeared at the farm sale/auction in 1966 when they moved into town and retired.

Smoking

I've heard of dancing cheek to cheek but never pipe to pipe.

How did I know

Now how did I know the first two comments would be 'don't ask don't tell' humor?

The pic illustrates just how much we view things as 'sexual' (since the 60's) at least, that once upon a time weren't necessarily so.

This would have been viewed as practice to impress the ladies (when dance had actual 'steps' and form to follow) to all but less than 1% of the troops.

Signal Corps

Funny. The Signal Corps doesn't seem to have changed much over the years.

In the Armeeeeee.

Funny, but this is not exactly what the Army recruiter told me in 1978 that life in the Army would be like. This is what he told me life in the Navy would be like.

Thank goodness Army times change. How do they decide who leads?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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