Goofy Found Photo Records Of
World War 1 Soldiers Posing With Fake Military Props.

WW1 Soldiers
1910-1912
"Flight from the sand desert [i.e., military camp] Neuhammer." Nuehammer Miltarty Camp, Germany.
Unidentified photographer. (Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)





While a variety of props - fake airplanes, hot air balloons, automobiles, trains -
had been used in studio photography since the late 19th century, their
popularity gained traction at the outbreak of World War I in Europe.

Photographs were taken as "official" souvenirs for servicemen
at military training camps to send home to friends and families,
while more informal photo opportunities were available at
arcades and amusement parks for soldiers on leave.

These military portraits collected by Christopher B. Steiner,
a professor of art history and anthropology at Connecticut College,
capture moments of both folly and formality.

The juxtaposition of faux props and real people is often curious and visually confounding.

Some images appear to be staged to accentuate silliness; while others are posed
with almost comical self-seriousness.

The photographs range in time from the beginning of World War I to the close of World War II.

While the majority are German, the collection also includes some images from France,
Holland, the United States, and the Baltics.

Removed, momentarily, from the madness and brutality of war, these
souvenir portraits capture moments of camaraderie and humanity.




WW1 Soldiers
1915
"Flight from Elsenborn to Paris."
Trupppenubungsplaz (military training grond), Elsenborn, Germany.
Photographer: Alexander Herld
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
March 22, 1915
Trupppenubungsplaz (military training grond), Elsenborn, Germany.
Photographer: Alexander Herld
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1912-1915
"Hooray. [This] unit has 22 days left"
Unidentified location Germany.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
August 1912
"Reserved Flight Home from Bitsch."
Strazburg, Austria,
(Photographer: J. Jungmann.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1928
"Those who remained faithful to their mother can be seen fling frome here."
Munster,Germany.
Unidentified photographer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1914
Military traing ground, Neuhammeram Queis, Germany.
Photofrapher: Paul Riediger.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1913
"Escape from san desert [military camp] Neuhammer. Neuhammer, Germany."
Photofrapher: Paul Riediger.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1912-1914
"Flight from Doberitz." Berlin, Germany.
Photographer: Paul Hofer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1914
"With thunder, hail and lightning God created Desert Doberitz";
"Flight from Desert Doberitz. "Doberitz Military Training Camp (aka "Desert Doberitz").
Photographer: Alfons Weghuber.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1925-1930
"Flight from Desert Juterbog." Teltow-Flaming district, Germany.
Photographer: Ernst Lohn.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
June 1913
"Flight from the Military Training camp at Darmstadt."
Ideal Studio, Darmstadt, Germany.
Photographer: Fritz Sengers.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1918
"Happy New Year 1918."
Unidentifed German studio.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1916
"Escape from Munster." Munster Military Camp, Germany.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1915
Figure 25 Munster Military Camp, Germany.
Unidentified Photographer.
The "s 11"symbol on the two beer barrels denotes a paragraph from German "Beer Code,"
which reads "Es wird fortgesoffen" or "Keep on drinking."
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1930s
German soldiers on faux Easter egg prop.
Unidentified location, Germany.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1938
"Sightseeing Flight - Fafberg Air Base -Munster - Hamburg, 1938." Munster, Germany
Photographer: Richard Schubert.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1925
Camp de Bitche, Department de la Mosel France.
Photographer: Charles Montag.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
Dec. 23, 1928
French military aviators in painted biplane studio prop, with Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero Palace in background.
Paris, France.
Unidentified photographer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1930s
Coney Island Amusement Park, New York.
Unidentified photographer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1930s-1940s
Nazi officers in photomontage single-propeller plane.
Unidentified location, Germany.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1933
"If this thing bursts we are done for."
Munich, Germany.
Photographer: Richard Schubert.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1912-1915
"Flight from Bitsch at 636 meters altitude."
Soldiers with mascot on a painted studio prop of the Viktoria Luise Zepplin, Bezirk Lothringen, German Lorrain.
Unidentified photographer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1930s
"The trip to Hannover is here."
Dornitz Military Camp (Atengrabow) Germany.
Photographer: Max Schutze.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
July 1914
"Lockstedter Military Camp, near Hulsings, Germany.
Wahrmann Studio.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1930s
"Flight from Altengrabow."
Dornitz Military Camp (Altengrabow), Germany.
Photographer: Max Schutze.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1930
"German soldiers on wooden cutout stork.
Munster Germany.
Unidentified photographer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1920s
"Soldier posing with fake horse infront of painted backdrop.
Republic of Estonia.
Unidentified photographer.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1917
American soldier pointing his revolver at German infantry studio Prop.
Unidentified location USA.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1940s
American soldiers riding a wooden cutout donkey while resting their feet on a box incribed
"To hell withHitler."
Unidentified photographer USA.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)
WW1 Soldiers
1944-1945
French soldiers in studio tankprop.
Unidentified location France.
(Photo via Collection of Christopher B. Steiner)