Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gulls, Hulls and Baby Carriage Camouflage

Above Believe it or not, this is a World War 1-era baby carriage, made by an unknown artist, apparently as a tribute to dazzle ship camouflage. It was published on April 27, 1919, in the Junior Eagle Section of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn NY), p. 10. The only accompanying texts were the headings shown here: SOMETHING NEW—A CAMOUFLAGED BABY CARRIAGE: Shown at a Recent Art Exhibition—How Would You Like to Ride In It?


Jessie Henderson, CAMOUFLAGE SHIP ON MOVIE LOT TO SAVE LIVES OF GULLS in the Appleton Post-Crescent (Appleton WI), February 25, 1932—

The lives of a number of sea gulls have been saved as the result of the application of wartime camouflage to the huge steamship setting on the south lot of the Fox studios at Movietone City [in Hollywood]. Because of its camouflage the boat no longer looks like a steamship to the hostile aviators who in a coming picture will seek it from the air. Because of its camouflage it also no longer looks like a steamship to the sea gulls.

Built originally for scenes in the Joan Bennett [and] John Boles picture Widow's Might, the ship is unusually large and realistic. It attracted a number of storm-blown gulls from the Pacific shores, less than 10 miles distant. The arrival of the birds was taken in the nature of a joke and as they circled through the air during the filming of the picture their presence lent a valuable touch of reality to the shipboard action.

After the completion of the picture, however, the birds continued to circle the ship. When two of them fell to the ground exhausted it was decided that they had through the ship a real one and had been waiting patiently for food to be thrown overboard from the galley.

The camouflage has served a two-fold purpose. It has sent the birds away and has relieved the feelings of the more nervous studio workers who were unaccustomed to having so many gulls sail over their heads.