oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

Notes--the US home front, WWI

Yesterday's word count: 641.

I typed up these notes last night, from several different pages in my little yellow notebook. These were mostly taken originally at the very beginning of my research back in 1995. I didn't type everything I'd written back then, only the bits that will or might be relevant to the project as it is currently. Or that I thought my journal readers might be interested in.


p. 1 US population 100,000,000 in 1914.

The Model T (originated 1908) was still common during and after WWI. p. 2 Other car models: Pierce Arrow, Velie, Franklin, Overland, Hudson, Hupmobile, Star

pp 4-5 1910-1915 an era of social consciousness: "slum squalor…child labor…pastuerized milk, cleaner hospitals, electricity in every home, and the extermination of the horse fly…white slavery…"

p. 14 Popular authors in 1914 were Rex Beach, Harold Bill Wright, Peter B. Kyne, James Oliver Curwood, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Kathleen Norris, Gertrude Atherton. And Theodore Dreiser, Kipling, Galsworthy, Hardy, Barrie, John Masefield. "The Perils of Pauline" were first serialized.

p. 38 US declared war 4/2/17. George M. Cohan wrote "Over There" the same day.

p. 52 "Business as Before--Only More." "The Hoe Behind the Flag." Victory gardens, knitting, anti-German prejudice.

p. 88 Cigarettes and wristwatches (formerly considered effeminate) became popular with men in the Army, who now had no pocket big enough for a pocket watch and fob. Cigarettes could be smoked quickly on short breaks.

p. 89 Standard response to insult: "I'm as American as you are!"

p. 100 slang: "Everything's jake." "Over the Top." "Carry on [cheerful]." "She's a pip."
Songs: "It's a Long Way to Tipperary." "Keep the Home Fires Burning." "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag." "Smiles." "Going Up, Going Up!" "My Buddy." "Till We Meet Again." "Over There."

p. 107 Julia Marlowe and E. H. Sothern, "America's favorite dramatic couple." Vernon and Irene Castle, Elsie Janis (musical comedy), George M. Cohan, Enrico Caruso. Sarah Bernhardt was still around.
Movie stars: Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Pearl White, Wallace Reid, Marguerite Clark, Charlie Chaplin, Theda Bara, Fatty Arbuckle, William S. Hart, Mae Murray, Madge Kennedy. [Harold Lloyd.]

War propaganda posters everywhere.
Coal shortages throughout war.

p. 136 Winter of 1917-18 unusually harsh in US.

p. 165 Spies thought to be everywhere, disease warfare feared.

p. 173 Service banner had blue star, gold star meant death of soldier.

Food: fish in place of red meat, which was limited to two pounds per person per week [! I think I could have managed.]. Meat loaf popularized. Shark steak, whale meant [eek!]. Sugar usage cut down.
Voluntary pledge not to waste food: wheatless M&W, Meatless T, Porkless Th & S. Butter usage cut.
Victory bread: wheat grain. Over the Top bread: bran.
Cloth Rationing shortened skirts.

p. 195 Influenza was pandemic by October of 1918.
p. 196 In Philadelphia, Flu deaths were 700% above the norm. 25% of US population struck; most vulnerable between ages 20 and 40. 19 died for every 1000 stricken. Army camps and war production were hard hit. Eventually, as many as 500,000 deaths in US. Germany, Spain, and the Allied armies also suffered from Flu.

Cooper, John Milton. PIVOTAL DECADES: THE US, 1900-1920. Norton & Co., NY, 1990.

p. 206 "after 1910, smoking became fashionable with both sexes."
p. 207 "a few women were also advocating birth control, mainly through the use of condoms." City and state anti-contraceptive laws included laws against disseminating information. Margaret Sanger began her work in 1914. She was first arrested in 1916, the same year she opened her first public clinic.

p. 205 women's clothing grew looser and lesser; women's skirts were up to mid-calf by 1915. Bobbed hair first began to appear in 1912.

Popular female entertainers: Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis (dancer).

p. 264 The first woman in the House of Representatives was Jeanette Rankin, Montana, a Republican (and pacifist).

p. 272 Draft evasion rate was around 11% (340,000 men). There were 65,000 conscientious objectors (57,000 of those passed by Gov't.) 21,000 objectors served in non-combat roles.

p. 281 "The trenches were dirty, constantly crumbling from the reverberations of artillery shells, infested with rats and lice, and usually filled with at least several inches of standing water…Colds, pneumonia, and influenza flourished among the chilled, confined, exhausted troops."

p. 282 Over 7000 US diagnoses of shell shock.

p. 285 367,000 African American men served in WWI, 1200 of them officers. Enlistments ran high, and the draft call was also higher than for white males.

p. 239 Total US Casualties: Killed 116,000; wounded 205,700; prisoners 4,500.

Tags: wwi research

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