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Numerous Soldier Formations During World War I

1. Human Statue of Liberty

18,000 officers and men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Ia.

2. Human U.S. Shield

30,000 officers and men, Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Mich

3. Human Liberty Bell

25,000 officers and men at Camp Dix, New Jersey

4. Human American Eagle

12,500 officers, nurses and men; Camp Gordon, Atlanta.

5. Living Uncle Sam

19,000 officers and men, Camp Lee, VA.

6. Sincerely yours, Woodrow Wilson

21,000 officers and men, Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio

7. Machine Gun Insignia

22,500 officers and men, 600 machine guns at Machine Gun Training Center, Camp Hancock, Augusta, Ga.

8. Living Emblem of the United States Marines
100 officers and 9,000 enlisted men, Marine Barracks, Paris Islands, S.C.

9. Living Insignia of the 27th Division "New York's Own"

10,000 officers and enlisted men, Breakers of the Hinderburg Line.

During World War I, photographers Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas traveled from one military camp to another taking photos of soldiers forming patriotic symbols as a part of planned promotional campaign to sell war bonds.
Thousands soldiers would form gigantic patriotic symbols such as Statue of Liberty, president Woodrow Wilson, American Eagle or Liberty Bell which were photographed from above.
Mole and Thomas spent days preparing formations which were photographed from a 70 to 80 foot tower with an 11 by 14 inch camera.
Photos by Mole and Thomas are now part of the Chicago Historical Society, the Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress.

2 comments so far.

  1. Anonymous January 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM
    Interesting - these guys were Not the only ones doing this in WWI - when I was young (1971) we moved to a house that had previously been owned by a Brigadier Geneeral. Among the artifacts in the house was a picture of him with his Battalion in an encircled star formation. I tracked the photograph and was able to speak to the Grandson of the photographer who took the picture who still works in the business. Turns out all the negatives had been sent to the archives at a University in Texas - by tracking them down I was able to get a new print of the same crumbling picture I had looked at more than 30 years ago. Pretty cool.. Anyway - these pics made me think of that

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