Sunday, August 4, 2019

Brokerage proclivities applied to auto camouflage

Ambulance camouflage in New York (1918)
Harry K. Taylor was a college-age, self-assured scion from Hartford CT, who described himself as “a man with brokerage proclivities and tobacco-raising tendencies.” Having volunteered for service in World War I, a lengthy ordeal was required before it was determined in which capacity he should serve (he eventually ended up at a wartime secretary for the YMCA). He reported this in disdainful detail in three Sunday installments in the Hartford Courant, the first one on July 14, 1918, titled ON THE FIRING LINE WITH A HARTFORD YMCA SECRETARY. Here is a brief excerpt that describes his short-lived lame attempt at vehicle camouflage

Then someone thought up a simple job, that of camouflaging a Ford. I had no overalls but applied and was accepted. Camouflage is so perfectly ridiculous and the paint is applied in such a haphazard fashion that even a college professor or a minister can do that. I turned my attenuated uniform inside out and tackled the car with teeth gritted. Some days later I encountered this car in Tours, not on tour, and felt so ashamed of its appearance that I wanted to hide behind a cathedral. It would have mortified a Cubist or Futurist.