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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE HAVE A BIG JOB: WWII
 

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Kitchen Aid: 1918

Kitchen Aid: 1918

May 1918. Paris, France. "Kitchen of restaurant. American hostel for refugees -- Accueil Franco-Américain aux réfugiés Belges et Français. Supported by the American Red Cross." 5x7 inch glass negative, American National Red Cross Photograph Collection. View full size.

 

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An Evocation of Bygone Angels

This particular hostel was first established primarily through the efforts of novelist Edith Wharton, who remained in Paris throughout WWI. Edith was allowed to visit the front lines, witnessing the devastation of Ypres, and many other towns.

The hostel housed primarily women and children displaced by the war. Attempts were made to find employment for the women, so they might attain a degree of self-sufficiency. It is quite possible the ladies pictured here are themselves refugees, earning perhaps one franc a week for their service.

As indicated, management of the hostel was eventually handed over to the American Red Cross.

It may not be a house of mirth, but there seems to be no lack of good-natured warmth in abundance.

The seven workers

From left to right: cautious, busy, firm, exasperated, messed up, tolerant, pleasant.

Their expressions.

I love all the amused and not-so-amused expressions directed at the photographer for interrupting their work.

Enigmatic smile

The girl front-right reminded me of someone.

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