101 years ago today, the Great War effectively ended.
While the Great War did not officially end until the Treaty of Versailles, today is the anniversary of the Armistice. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, arms were to be laid down. While the anniversary is marked by a number of names – Armistice Day, National Independence Day in Poland – I choose to call it Remembrance Day. I also choose to completely ignore the Americanized “Veterans Day”, because it’s disingenuous to me.
The connotations of Remembrance Day – that we must never forget the Great War – grow all the stronger every day. There are very few living persons who even remember the war firsthand. So we must rely on documentation, on oral tradition, and on photographic and cinematic record to remember. And this being a stereography blog, of course, we’ll use 3D photography to remember.
Remembrance Day: Great War Amateur Photography
What’s different with these slides?
Last year, for the Armistice Centenary, I posted an article featuring 100 stereoviews from the Great War. I tried to cover a wide variety of topics in those slides, because there’s just so much out there! But the majority of them were commercial slides put out by vendors like LSU and Brentano’s. In any case, I tried to tell a small portion of the story of the Great War from the soldiers’ eye perspective. This Remembrance Day, I’m doing something a little different. I’m posting 101 amateur stereoviews taken before, or shortly after, Armistice.
Unlike with commercial slides, amateur stereoviews are unique pieces of glass with unique flaws. If I find an LSU slide with a significant scratch in it, chances are I can locate a better duplicate. Not so with amateur views. Like handwritten letters, they’re fragile and unique until digitized. Therefore, today’s slides – some of which have featured on the blog before, some which haven’t – don’t look as “spiffy” as the professional works displayed last year.
But they are a wonderful record, inasmuch as they provide one person’s view of the War and its aftermath. This year, on Remembrance Day, we’ll be looking at fewer tanks, fewer big guns, and more personal scenes. Women wishing their lovers goodbye as trains depart, taking them to battle. Soldiers recuperating in hospital. Ruins tourism and damage surveys after the War. I’d like to thank the Jordan/Ference Collection for access to many of the slides I’ve scanned for this post.
A note on the anaglyphs
This year, I’m doing things a little differently. Apparently, loading 300 images at a time is difficult in some parts of the world due to internet speed. And I certainly want to satisfy everybody’s needs, inasmuch as possible. So I’ve set up a second gallery for the anaglyphs. If you wish to just straight to there, please head to the Remembrance Day 2019 Anaglyph Gallery:
And finally a brief note to my regular readers – thanks for your concern, but I’m perfectly well right now. My computer, not so much. Between computer troubles and a very busy month, I haven’t had the chance to post as much as I’d like – but many thanks to those who wrote to me. And don’t worry, to those who were wondering. More posts will be forthcoming. Including some larger sets from which many of these views were culled!
101 Years – 101 Amateur Stereoviews
Lest we forget.