World War I Soldier Ogling Woman

Here’s our next photo for “Pictures Tell a Story.” It’s a great old shot from 1918 of World War I soldiers motoring through the city on trucks.

- click image for more -
soldiers rolling through Washington on trucks
soldiers rolling through Washington on trucks

Source: Library of Congress

So, to start, let’s look at the soldiers in the last truck. Notice how he’s staring at the woman crossing the street. He might not be cat-calling at the moment, but I can assure you, he’s about to with his buddies egging him on. The guy at the front of the truck, smoking the cigarette, might give him some competition though.

soldier ogling woman
soldier ogling woman

Here’s a better close-up of the soldier. What do you all think?

close-up of soldier
close-up of soldier

How about the woman? Is she holding a letter to mail?

woman holding letter
woman holding letter

Check out the soldiers in the second to last truck. They appear to be cheering or making noises for the crowds. The guy without a hat seems to be enjoying himself and the one behind him in a crouch seems to be engaged in cheering, or likely some sort of horsing around? How about the guy with his fist up … what’s he doing?

soldiers in truck
soldiers in truck

Look how awesome this guy is dressed. People had a much better sense of fashion and style, generally back then. Or, at least we can say a much larger proportion of people cared about how they dressed when they went out. Today you see people (namely tourists) walking around in crappy Walmart jeans, those goofy FBI caps, or I heart DC sweatshirts.

dapper guy
dapper guy

Here’s another thing that we noticed on the back of the last truck. There’s a bucket hanging off the rear. I wonder what that was used for?

bucket
bucket

This was a fun one to study. What do you guys see? Add your comments below.

There were a few more photos in this series, so we’ll share those below.

 

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Doug

    Oil for the chain driven vehicle? Probably not on 2nd thought.

  • Sheila

    You mentioned how awesome the man in the photo looked and the way they dressed back then. I worked in DC in the mid 1960’s and you still would never go into town without wearing DRESS CLOTHES, even then. When I was younger and went to town with my grandmother, you would not go into town without a dress, heals, and cloves. Men wore suits and never went to town without a clean shave too.
    By 1969-1970 it had all changed. It made me sick to see the change, however I can say that there are still places in town today that you better not show up with anything but the best in clothing on you, or you are shunned. As it should be, as far as I’m concerned.
    I’m all for comfort, but a city looses it’s class if it does not maintain some form of respect. Not everywhere, but certainly sometimes, just for our own self respect, if nothing else.

    • bobby

      antiquated

    • Mark Harmon

      I worked in an agency where business attire was (for men) a suit, and it made a difference in how I regarded my professional persona and attitude toward work (in a positive way). The manner in which I presented and regarded myself mattered in how I presented and regarded my agency, mission and personal approach to work. (relative to an office setting in downtown Washington). To wear casual clothing into my agency’s corporate environment made me feel … well, I was not prepared and somewhat derelict. I like it that Washington is still more “formal” and “stuffy” than most other cities — as Govt should be …not trendy.

  • Capital Quarters

    It matters if you take extra/measured effort in how you approach your work or mission, and that, I found, is often in the effort you take to prepare your presentation — for it factors into your mindset and how you carry yourself.