Saturday, January 14, 2012

WWI Dazzle Camouflage Poster

Above World War I poster by American illustrator Adolph Treidler (1886-1981), printed and distributed by the Publications Section of the US Shipping Board, Philadelphia, in 1917. A student of Robert Henri, Treidler designed a number of recruiting and Liberty Loan posters, and more than two hundred magazine covers. Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs. For more on dazzle camouflage, see SHIP SHAPE (2012).

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From National Geographic Magazine. Vol 34 (1919), p. 174—

The work of camouflaging has been perfected to such nicety that a ship can be decorated with its particular pattern of streaks and stripes with astonishing dispatch. It is a matter of record that at one American port an 8,800-ton freighter was completely camouflaged in 24 hours. The district camoufleur was notified late Saturday afternoon that the vessel in question would be ready to sail Monday evening. By midnight Saturday the design for the ship had been selected and the pattern indicated [with chalk lines] on the hull and superstructure. With the arrival of necessary supplies at that hour, 62 painters were set to work and by 5:30 Sunday afternoon the ship was ready to defy the most keen-sighted commander of a Prussian U-boat.

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