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Bed Race: 1919

Bed Race: 1919

1919. "Fourth of July. Scenes in celebration at Walter Reed Hospital." The ever-popular Competitive Napping event, maybe. Or would this demonstration have another purpose? Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.


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Puttees in your hand

As a history teacher, I wear a WWI uniform three or four times a year. Puttees are fun enough when you have two hands -- this is ridiculous!


They are racing to see who can be first to go from bedded down to dressed and ready to go. My money is on the guy in the middle!

Puttees II

Well, the guy whose arm is completely gone doesn't have any puttees by his shoes. Perhaps with most of an arm to hold things in place, the puttee is considered doable.

And what about the middle guy's right leg? Did he get his calf muscle shot off, or did he have polio?

[Neither. The blanket is hiding it. - Dave]


I'd love to see them try to wrap those puttees you see rolled up next to their shoes.

Here's a How-to.

Competitive Dressing

The Washington Post fails to mention any one-handed dressing races but notes that other competitions of the day included "an artificial leg walk, a thirty-yard hop and a crutch race."

One two three.

I see a missing arm and two missing hands (three if you want to get technical). Good luck, boys, and thanks.

Missing Bits

Well they are all missing at least part of an arm. So I'd guess it's a race to see who can get dressed the most quickly as a demonstration how well they've done in their rehab.

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