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WW1 Era US Entertainment Items


Gildwiller1918

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As often is the case for any conflict, your time is spent between terror and boredom. US troops along with many other nationalities had to contend with "down time" as best they could. Below are some period examples of games and diversions used.

First is a wooden dice shaker, as gambling was frowned upon or illegal in most militaries, it naturally flourished with the troops. The overall length is about 3 inches, so easy to carry in a pocket, and hide from your superiors!

Next is brass spinner which was popular with British and commonwealth troops.

"Trench checkers" were another popular diversion, this set was available from the USO (United Service Organization). It consisted of a cardboard playing board, and red/black tokens. This set is unissued with the paper sleeve. 

Last is a card game called Flinch, this one has the last revision date of 1913. Cards and card games were widely popular. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is another neat item from WW1, a deck of cards in a foldable canvas book. It is personalized to Ray A. Newcomb, 101st Engineers. The 101st Engineer regiment was assigned to the 26th Infantry Division or "Yankee Division". Its troops were predominantly from the New England area of America. The 26th Division was the first complete American Division to be committed in France in 1918. Taking part in six major campaigns: Ile de France, Lorraine, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-Marne. The YD Division was cited thirteen times by France, and three times by American Army Headquarters. This Division spearheaded at Chateau Thierry and St. Mihiel and fought the longest of all American Infantry Divisions - 210 days. The 104th Infantry became the first military organization in American history to receive a decoration from a foreign government when it was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palms by the French on April 28, 1918 for bravery in the Battle of Apremont.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is another interesting item, WW1 Era Coca-Cola Bottle. This one is dated 1915, from Griffin Georgia. 

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  • 9 months later...

Another interesting item, a WW1 era Parcheesi game. This one is last dated Oct 1918 and is all complete, very small size for portability. 

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Here is another WW1 era card game, called PIT. Made by Parker Brothers, it includes instructions which are dated from 1919, and instructions for Rumme, dated 1914 and the cards are dated 1904. Card games/sets were just as popular with soldiers and officers back then as they are today. When I was in Afghanistan in 2002, I played cards regularly with SAS members from the compound next to ours. Had a great time with those guys. Even got a modern commando knife from them before I rotated out. 

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