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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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Officers' Mess: 1917

Officers' Mess: 1917

Arlington, Virginia, 1917. "Fort Myer officers' training camp mess." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.

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I don't think I have seen so many good looking men at one time! The white ironstone pitchers are also an eye catcher. Probably produced from Homer Laughlin Company.

Table for 200

It surprises me a bit to see these officer candidates eating at the long tables. In my days in the service it seemed the officers generally had smaller tables, sometimes with tablecloths on them.


The clarity of this photograph is absolutely amazing!!!

Re: Where's Igor?

Ahhhhhh, I can hear Benjamin Franklin Pierce screaming "We want something else! We want something else!"

Where's Igor?

With the exception of the African-American waitpersons, this neat photo has the feel of military mess halls everywhere. If they served some of that fried liver with the gasoline slick on it, one could just hear Hawkeye screaming for Igor's neck! The first Army mess hall I encountered had a big sign that intoned: "Take All You Want, Eat All You Take."

Summer Vacation plans?

During the 1910's and through WWI the Army established a system of three-week "Officer Training Camps" where young men could learn the skills needed to be army officers. This program was based upon a navy program where select men were allowed to cruise on a battleship for 4 or 5 weeks to learn the skills needed to be a good sailor. The well-heeled young men of New York, including Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, went to Plattsburg NY for what was called the "Tired Businessmen's Camp." A young Captain Douglas MacArthur was on the staff of this camp. The camps commissioned over 50,000 officers from Lieutenants to Colonels during WWI.

[I think it was the other way around. The Navy program, which was begun in 1916, was based on the "Plattsburg camps," which started in 1913 and were the model for the Citizens Military Training Camps of 1921 to 1940. - Dave]


The upside down mug simply means no coffee for me!


Once again, excellent Dave, there's a hundred haunting stories in the faces of these servicemen -- and waitstaff. Not being from a military background, I don't understand the "one up/one down" mug each man has. One for coffee (not yet served) one for milk or juice?

[Each man has one mug. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD 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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