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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Biometrics: 1918

Biometrics: 1918

Washington, D.C., 1918. Sailor Noonan's ordeal in Room 403 continues: "Navy department, intelligence bureau, finger-print department clerks: Blanche Donahue, James A. Noonan, Marie S. Dahm, Blanche G. Stansbury, Mrs. G.G. Boswell." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Put a ring on it

Mrs. Boswell is wearing a beautiful ring, which suits her well.

The G. G. Spot

Maybe Mrs. G. G. Boswell decamped with G. G. Bain so as to maintain continuity of monogramming!

The Beautiful Miss Boswell

It looks like my research that indicated that Mrs. Boswell might be named Julia Boswell is correct (see my comment under her other photo). The 3-9-09 comment under this photo that showed the article called "Four Pretty Girls In Washington" does, indeed, refer to her as Julia Boswell. But the question still remains: What happened to her? There are no records for her with that name after 1900.

The Panic Button

It springs a trapdoor for those with dodgy fingerprints or anyone who tries to put the moves on Mrs. Boswell.

Panic button

What do you suppose the button to the left of the drawer was used for?

Look at the time

Mrs. Boswell is wearing one of the early examples of the wristwatch -- which used to be worn only by women. It took the development of the "trench watch," designed to be worn on the wrist so that a soldier could more readily tell the time (important for those synchronized attacks across no-man's land), to start the trend away from pocket watches.

You might also note that Mrs. B's watch has the crown at the 12 o'clock position -- most early versions of the wristwatch were so designed.

The Gruesome Things of War

Logansport (Indiana) Pharos-Reporter, May 24, 1918.

Four Pretty Girls in Washington
Literally Have Every Jackie
In U. S. Navy by the Hand

By Edna Huber Church

        WASHINGTON, May 24. — Once upon a time — this is not a fairy tale — it was said that a sailor had a girl in every port. Things have changed, however, since the days of Farragut. Now, four girls, four very pretty little girls—-have every jackie in Uncle Sam's navy "by the hand." That is literally true. The four girls who have the jackies by the hand are most important factors in Secretary Daniels' organization.

Recently the Navy Department adopted a new method of identification, at least new in navy circles, the finger print method.

Today, in a rather unimposing room in the Navy Department, these girls have the finger prints and the hand marks of every member of the Navy. All are tabulated and carefully filed. So when the gruesome things of war happen, it is possible for these four girls to relieve the minds of anxious mothers, for they are able to identify badly mutilated bodies by the finger prints. It is perhaps as an unhappy task for girls, but war is unhappy and these four young ladies have sat to the work with a spirit that will win the war if every woman in America adopts it.

The four girls who are doing this very important war work are Blanche Donohue and Marie Dahm, of New York, and Blanche Stansbury and Julia Boswell, of Alexandria, Va.
Don't you envy them, girls?

All the other women...

All the other women secretly wished they were as attractive as Mrs. Boswell.

Conniving Sailor

Seems to me that this Navy whippersnapper is making a career out of having his fingerprints taken by the two best looking girls in the office. Or perhaps they are being trained and he is the volunteer subject, just to help them out. (Yeah, thats the ticket). The ladies really did wear very interesting and flattering clothes and shoes in 1918, very flattering too.

Let's hear it for James Noonan

I'm sure this picture will bring out more Boswell admirers. As a member of the opposite sex, let me just say that Sailor Noonan is one nice hunk of Irish-American naval flesh himself!

And I love Miss Dahm's boots! And the coats and hats on the hatrack!

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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