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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Angels of Mercy: 1917

Angels of Mercy: 1917

Washington, D.C., 1917. "American Red Cross, dedication of building." These ladies hail from West Virginia. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Two years later

The nurses appear again on Shorpy in 1919

The nurse on the far left in this photos is on the far right in the link

Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front

For a factual account at what these nurses went through during the war check out "Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front"

Free audio book version at LibriVox. Or for those who actually read things, Project Gutenberg has it here.

I'd trust her!

Wow......This lady definitely looks like someone I could trust to smuggle me across enemy lines. Doesn't she look marvelously capable?

Driving Mrs. Daisy (Harriman)

Finally, we see one of the WWI DC Ambulance Corps photos that includes their marvelous leader, Florence Jaffray "Daisy" Harriman (among those standing, 10th from the left and 13th from the right). Daisy has been called "America's first woman politician." A socialite with a Gump-like knack for finding herself on the scene of great world events, she may have met every president or future president from Garfield to Ford. One war later, as U.S. Minister to Norway, she would help Norwegian royalty escape the 1940 Nazi invasion.


Unlike some pix we've seen where there is a sameness of expression in a group, this is a diverse play of emotions and expressions. So very alive and real.

Dedicatory Exercises

So here we have a listing of four types of corps within the Red Cross: supply, clerical, motor service, and refreshments. I'm guessing this photo is of a motor service corps but could be clerical ... if only we had a color photo.

Wilson to Review Women Marchers
At Dedication of Red Cross Building

President Wilson is expected to review a parade of more than 1,000 women from all sections of the country who are active in Red Cross work, and will be here a week from today to participate in the dedicatory exercises of the new Red Cross building.
Women of the various corps from out of town have adopted the uniforms of the Washington corps, and the general effect of the marchers in their attractive attire should be especially pleasing. The uniforms adopted by the supply corps are white with blue arm bands and veils. The clerical corps will wear gray uniforms with yellow arm bands. Gray coats, dresses and caps and green arm bands will be the uniform of the motor service corps, and blue and white striped dresses with Red Cross arm bands and white aprons, of the refreshment corps.

Washington Post, May 5, 1917

Three Things

1. None of them are armed.
2. The hats were invented to make them look silly.
3. They are all thinking "These darn hats are gonna go!"

Jackbooted Nurses!

There are a number of interesting websites devoted to, um, "nurses" in similar attire.

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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