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J(ohn) D. Willis (US, d. 1928)
"Recruiting Tank (Facsimile), Public Library, N.Y. City"
August 4, 1918
Autochrome, 4.25 x 3.25 inches

Autochromes were occasionally used to record scenes related to news events, although newspapers and most magazines could not print them in color. In addition, the relatively slow speed of Autochrome plates meant that fast-moving events would register as little more than a blur.

Even so, images like this one by J. D. Willis of Flushing, New York, provide some insight into the news of the time. Four days after this photograph was made, the Allies began a 100-day counter-offensive against the German Army that would lead to the end of World War One on November 11. The Great War consumed the lives of 19,447,287 people, almost equally divided between soldiers and civilians. Another 21 million troops were wounded.


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