Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An very happy American in Paris 1918-1919

Wesley Strait was one of twins to serve in the AEF in WWI, and his camera skill was put to the test as a signal corps photographer.  His album, in the permanent collection, is huge.  Somehow, Strait managed to get into most of the images, as in the ambulance shot...he is on the stretcher!  He had lots of girlfriends, some of which are shown here...he witnessed the wonders that most Americans then (and perhaps now) had only read about...the Moulin Rouge for instance.  He colored many of the shots, an example here has him with North African French troops...and that's him with the movie camera.  The image with his mom (family resemblence...!!) and either a sister or girlfriend and the family cat is a lovely shot taken before he left for Europe.  As of 1939, Strait was a NY Worlds Fair photographer, and sadly died in 1942 at 49 years of age.  I suppose no one really remembers him, but his photos, and his sense of humor in some of them, survives him in this album.  The shot of Pershing and Beatty et al was taken at the dedication of the tomb of the unknown soldier--inscribed on the strip of photo paper at the bottom are real autographs, not photos.  Enjoy!   

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