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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Battleship: 1917

Battleship: 1917

Washington vicinity ca. 1917. "Military training." Harris & Ewing. View full size.

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Coastal artillery training.

Coastal artillery training. You can find pictures of naval war games fought at the naval training college in (I believe) Newport News.

The guy with the binoculars

is probably doing the same thing as the guy in the back right corner with what looks like a spotting scope on a tripod.

My guess is that they are trying to simulate the field of view you would get by looking at the invading navy "live" rather than the deity's eye view you get standing over the wargame board.


From some maps of the forts (thank you it appears the markers along the represented shoreline indicate searchlights.

All I can think of is...

"You sank my battleship!"


It doesn't look like they're wearing Navy uniforms, so they are probably Coastal Artillery folks thinking about sinking the Dreaded Hun.

Hampton Roads

What's interesting is that they actually are modeling some of the piers at the Naval Base. I recognize the Rip Raps (Fort Wool) and Fort Monroe, Willoughby Spit, the James River, etc.

Your Move.

This looks like it could be some sort of training or war game for members of the Coastal Artillery Corps. There were a number of forts about Norfolk at the time. Fort Wool is the island in the middle of the entrance.


What is that guy in the front row doing with those field glasses? The models are what, 10 feet away from him at worst? Are those standard for this sort of thing, or is this just for show?

Hampton Roads

Looks like a map of entrance to Hampton Roads, Virginia

View Larger Map

Now I get it.

This is what they were practicing those deep knee bends for.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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