“District Line, Wash. D.C.”: 1919. Album. This large album measures approximately 15” x 11” and contains 109 b/w photographs and one cyanotype. Image size ranges from 1.75” x 2.15” to 8.25” x 6.5”. All are pasted to the album pages; some images have partially loosened revealing captions on their reverse. Many students and staff members are identified. The are sharp and clear; some of my photos of them are not. A few photographs have split in half. The album and pages are in nice shape. The pages are captioned in white crayon/grease pencil. In 1916, the wives of the Chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps worked in conjunction with the Navy League to establish a training school to prepare young women for service during “war or national calamity.” It was located on a tract of land at Chevy Chase, Maryland. The program specifically prepared students “for such work as making and applying bandages, home care of the sick and wounded, and nursing in hospitals for convalescents [as well as] service as chauffeurs, aviators, ambulance drivers, and other capacities heretofore filled by men alone. . .. The students will live in tents . . . in the same rough-and-ready fashion [as men] and a uniform style of dress will be recommended although it will not be a mandatory requirement. [They] will be grouped into companies of fifty women each under the command of a captain and two lieutenants to be selected from their numbers. . .. Miss Elizabeth E. Poe [is] in charge of the school. . . .” (See Washington Times, 5 March 1916.) This album begins with a group photograph of women in the school uniform and includes images of Tent quarters, Staff (Commandant Poe, Army officers, a Marine Drill Sergeant, an Army bugler, and other soldiers), Students (including student officers), The WWI Victory Parade (including President Wilson and General Pershing), Other activities and trips (including Harper’s Ferry, Mt. Vernon, Gettysburg, Washington DC, Camp Meade, Richmond, etc.) It appears that the compiler stayed at Young Women’s Christian Home (YMCH) in DC following the school, as one page has photos from that non-profit organization that continues to provide temporary lodging for young women enrolled in academic or internship programs in the capital today. Very good. Item #009720
An uncommon first-hand visual testament to a short-lived paramilitary female training program that closed down in 1919 after only four years of operation. At the time of listing, nothing similar is for sale in the trade, and the Rare Book Hub shows nothing similar has ever come up for auction. OCLC identifies no institutional holdings of similar albums or photograph collections.