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Men Overboard: 1917

Men Overboard: 1917

New York, 1917. "Aboard the Recruit." Our first glimpse of life on the "landship" U.S.S. Recruit, a wooden destroyer set up in Union Square as a Navy recruiting station. For our marooned sailors there was a phonograph, dancing and a pet goat. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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The Flags

They are semaphore flags, and he's holding two of them. These days we almost always see the red triangle type, but there were also ones like those you see here.

The dancing maybe I can see.

The goat?


Don't ask, don't baaa?

Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash indeed!

What more needs saying?

This would explain the goat

I love sailors of any era - this motley bunch looks like fun, haha.

Signal Flag

The guy in the background seems to be holding up a signal flag. If the colors are blue background with white square, it's the letter P or Papa used when the ship is ready to get under way. It is also nicknamed "The Blue Peter."

rdt USCG

My daily surreal quota has been met

Wow. I'm flabbergasted at the weirdness, and coolness, of this photo. Epically awesome as usual, Shorpy.

"Funny, but this is exactly what the Army recruiter told me in 1978 that life in the Navy would be like."

Hilarious. Nicely played.

"Bill" the goat

In the Naveeee.

Funny, but this is exactly what the Army recruiter told me in 1978 that life in the Navy would be like.

Hello Sailor

Great find and post Shorpy! I wonder how the dance came about? The uniforms include the trousers with the broadfall fronts featuring 13 buttons... or 13 chances to say 'no' as the 'hygene' films of WWII called them.

Anyway, goats were not unheard of mascots on ships and "Bill" the goat, mascot of the Naval Academy, was well established by this date.

jnc (USNA Alum)

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