This postcard was sent from Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors), the capital of Finland, to the Finnish port town of Hanko (Hangö) on February 16, 1915. At that time Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. Because Russia was engaged in the First World War, the card had to be cleared by a wartime government... Continue Reading →
On November 11, 1918, an armistice came into effect which ended the fighting on the Western Front in the First World War. In connection with that event, many countries observe a public holiday or official day of remembrance on November 11 each year. In the United States, Veterans Day honors all veterans of the armed... Continue Reading →
I bought this photograph from a dealer in Finland, who told me it had come from the estate of a Jewish family. Finland was part of the Russian Empire from 1809 until December 6, 1917, when it declared independence from the new Soviet government in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). A note about dates: the Julian calendar... Continue Reading →
These two young men may have been students at a military academy or members of a cadet corps, which was another type of officer-training program. They're both wearing a military-style tunic with no insignia. It's also possible the tunic was part of a uniform at an educational institution not connected to the military. I'll update... Continue Reading →
This German Feldpost (field/military) postcard is dated Aug. 19, 1916. Infantrymen are being entertained by a man in civilian clothes holding a music box with the words "Automate à musique" on the front. Perched calmly on top of the music box is a black and white cat. A second man in civilian clothes stands a... Continue Reading →
These postcards were acquired by a British or American sailor during the First World War. They were probably made available to the men as keepsakes of their service. In the image above, a line of sailors is visible in the distance, probably on a brief leave to sightsee. The snowy hills on the island below... Continue Reading →
On December 15, 1917, an armistice was signed between the Central Powers and the new revolutionary communist government of Soviet Russia. It went into effect two days later, on December 17. The Soviets would officially leave the war the following March, after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but the December armistice clearly felt like the end... Continue Reading →
This impromptu group portrait was likely taken at a medical facility not far from the front lines during the First World War. The man seated next to the colonel is wearing a tailored suit with a Red Cross pin on the lapel, suggesting he may be a visitor rather than a patient.