Sunday, January 18, 2015

Futurist Togs For Sniper Camouflage (1917)

US proposal for disruptively-patterned sniper suit (1917)
Above This photograph of an American soldier dressed in a disruptively patterned sniper outfit (this is a detail of a larger scene) was one of a series of official government photos that were provided to US news agencies in 1917-18. It was subsequently published in various newspapers and magazines throughout the country, including, for example, in a feature titled CAMOUFLAGE DEVICES FOR DECEIVING ENEMY in the Washington Times, January 5, 1918, p. 4.

Later, as shown below in this post, the same figure was one of several components in a photomontage that appeared on the cover of a French magazine, Lectures Pour Tout, on May 1, 1918.


Anon, FUTURIST TOGS FOR SNIPERS in Chicago Daily Tribune, July 24, 1918, p. 6—

Artists of the [Blackhawk] division [at Camp Grant IL] camouflage department today gave free rein to their imagination and color fancies when Lieutenant Roy Shinew, whose studio at 3714 West Grand Avenue was closed when he entered the service, began experimenting on a series of sniper uniforms.

Types of uniforms so far turned out by the class resemble nothing more than futurist paintings of a nude falling down stairs. They are streaked with paint in broken lines and seem a joke until fitted to the body of a man and seen from a short distance in the open.

Cover of Lectures Pour Tous (1918)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hunters Masquerade as Cow (1578)

US Patent No. 586,145 (1897)
Above Patent drawings for US Patent No. 586,145, titled "Hunting Decoy," as devised by J. Sievers, Jr. (1897). Not a bad idea, but apparently nothing new. As evidenced by two 1578 Dutch engravings by Philips Galle (shown below on this page), as early as the 16th century European deer hunters were camouflaging themselves by masquerading as cows. In both prints, notice the telltale human feet apparent beneath the cow costumes. Both prints (out of rights and in public domain) are in the collection of the Rijksmuseum.


Anon, from the Humeston New Era (Humeston IA), Wednesday, December 21, 1921—

How to stop certain Iowa druggists from making bootleg whisky under the camouflage of cologne and similar euphonious preparations is the problem which Prohibition Enforcement Officer Bronson finds himself up against. Some druggists are getting alcohol ostensibly for legitimate purposes and converting it into bootleg whisky, Mr. Bronson told Commissioner Haynes, and it is difficult to detect them. Before departing for Iowa from Washington he urged the commissioner to allow him six more field men and two officers who are druggists. Indications are the added force will be granted.

Engravings by Philips Galle (1578)