Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ship Camouflage Cartoon | William Ferguson

Above William Ferguson cartoon (detail) from THIS CURIOUS WORLD series, in the Healdsburg Tribune (No 267), September 23, 1933. Below it was the following text—

The word "camouflage” Is Incorrectly used In speaking of the weird painting used on ships during the war. Officially, the practice was called "dazzle painting,” and its purpose was to cause miscalculations when enemy gunners attempted to torpedo the ship. Large bow waves were sometimes painted on the hull to give the appearance of terrific speed.


J.H. Richardson, SPEED IS WATCHWORD AT HARBOR SHIPYARDS. Los Angeles Herald (No 228), July 25, 1918, p. 22 [excerpt]—

…A few hundred feet away, at one of the “fitting out” wharves, was a vessel practically completed. Men were swung from the sides of the ship painting the hull in camouflage colors. Black stripes, big spots of blue, specks of white and dabs of red, as if it were the canvas of a futuristic artist.…