World War I coincided with numerous advances in technology, resulting in the introduction of new hardware and combat accessories on the battlefield. For example, wristwatches, which had been popular as jewelry pieces for women, replaced the bulky pocket watches that had been favored by men. Even items as simple as belts, which were traditionally made of leather that cracked and frayed under harsh conditions, were upgraded to woven webbed cotton, a more durable material in cold, damp trenches.

As with militaria from most wars, medals hanging from multi-colored ribbons, badges designed to be affixed to caps, and insignia sewn onto the collars, cuffs, and shoulders of jackets, remain popular with collectors, whether they are interested in British, U.S., Russian, French, or German pieces. While jackets are relatively difficult to come by, countless helmets have survived, be they the plain, bowl-shaped headgear worn by members of the American Expeditionary Forces or the elaborate parade versions of the German Pickelhaube, whose tops were crowned by aggressive spikes and sometimes menacing eagles.

Although World War One was the first major conflict in which the airplane played a role, it was also fought on horseback. Thus, many items were designed for members of the cavalry, from swords with sturdy nickel-plated hilts to ammunition-filled bandoliers that could be worn across a trooper’s chest or wrapped around the neck of a rider’s trusty steed.

Technology impacted the weapons troops carried, too. Rifles were outfitted with accurate sniper scopes, so the enemy could be picked off from a safe distance. Still, the hardware that attached blades and bayonets to the ends of these rifles was also present—some were even designed to be clamped to revolvers for combat at close range.

On the homefront, citizens were exhorted to support the doughboys “over there” with wartime propaganda posters that encouraged thrift, contributions to the war effort, and enlistment. The most famous of these was a 1917 poster titled “I Want You for the U.S. Army” by James Montgomery Flagg, which featured a stern-faced, top-hatted Uncle Sam, pointing an accusatory finger at the viewer. In fact, Flagg made 46 different images to support the war effort, including one of a sleeping Lady Liberty that shouted “Wake Up, America!” across its brow. In fact, Flagg's Uncle Sam poster was so popular, it was also widely used in World War II.

Other famous American artists of the day included Howard Chandler Christy, whose “I Want You for the Navy” from 1917 featured a flirty blonde in a man's Navy uniform. A year later, Christy put a fetching brunette in a floppy, white sailor’s cap proclaiming, “Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man. I’d Join the Navy, Naval Reserve or Coast Guard.” Joseph Christian Leyendecker’s images were more sober and classically heroic—a sailor shaking hands with a somber Lady Liberty; a group of bare-chested, barefoot men loading ordnance into an artillery gun; a Boy Scout holding an enormous sword bearing the words “Be prepared.”


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Great War Dust Jackets

Great War Dust Jackets

Alan Hewer's comprehensive site is devoted to World War I books and dust jackets from 1914 to 1939. Most of the boo… [read review or visit site]

myArmoury.com

myArmoury.com

This resource for historic arms and armour collectors provides exhaustive information on modern reproductions (cust… [read review or visit site]

The Civil War

The Civil War

Paul McWhorter’s amazing reference site tells the story of the Civil War through high resolution scans of Harpers… [read review or visit site]

Mikes Tanks

Mikes Tanks

Mike Seeber’s extensive collection of over 500 diecast tanks and military vehicles, dating back to WWII. Browse b… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Ww1 Australian Light Horse. Original Tunic, Jodpers, Leggings, Canteen + ExtrasWwi German Bavarian M1915 Ersatz Pickelhaube Helmet-guaranteed Original-beautyRare Ww1 Helmet And Uniform Grouping-named Corporal-u S 322 Rgt-81st DivisionNamed Wwi 1916 Springfield Armory Us Army M1905 Bayonet .30-06 Cal Rifle M1903Wwi German M16 Helmet StahlhelmWw1 Anzac 1914 Princess Mary Tobacco Tin Gallipoli Aif Light Horse Army VintageDated 1916 Wwi German Metal Pickelhaube Prussian Austrian Military Spike HelmetWwi Prussian "pioneer Rgt #30" Pickelhaube -100% Original!Other Ranks 1902 Patt Ww1 Khaki TunicMachine Gun Corps Marked, A J Beck No.25 Periscope And Case, 127 Company, MgcWorld War I Bravery Military W/ 2 Bars British War Victory MedalWw1 Anzac Military Short & Mason Marching Compass Lieut F Linacre Light HorseAustralian Collection Commonwealth Forces Wwi Rising Sun Badges Buttons Pins EtcWw1 Us Mark Sa Springfield Armory 1918 Cavalry Patton Saber Sword No ScabbardVintage Ww1 1918 Zenith Screw Back Silver Officers Trench Wristwatch V.g.cTrench Art Ww1 Brass Shell Case Model Gatling Gun On Stand U.s. Model 1905, M1905, 16” Rock Island Arsenal Ria Bayonet, Dtd 1918, W/ M1910 Late Ww2 German K98 Bayonet With Matching Numbers On Blade To Scabbard FrogOriginal Wwi Tank Corps Medals Id Bracelet Badges Patches Papers Buttons CambraiVintage Pre Wwi German / Barvarian Austrian Military Spike HelmetWw1 - Medals - Plus - Boer War Medal - Sac/enslins HorseBritish Ww1 .303 Smle Mounted Wire Cutters. 1917.Original Ww1 German Sawback Bayonet Very Nice Condition!!!Rare! Wwi Original Pilot Wings - Robbins Company Attleboro Ma Sterling Silver 2"Original Usgi Stock For 1917 Eddystone Service Rifle Enfield NiceWw1 German Officer's Lionhead Sword Ruby Eyes Paul Weyersberg Co Solingen Nice!!Ww1 Princess Mary 1914 Christmas Gift Brass Tin Fund - Empty Great ConditionRare Antique Imperial Russian Cossack Officers Silver Shashka Sword KindjalWw1 Death Penny - Victory And British War Medal Memorial Canada Battalion GoldWw1 Princess Mary Christmas Gift Tin Rope LighterWw1 Royal Navy Bullion Epaulettes In Tin, Owners Wedding Photo. Gieves, Math SeaOriginal Ww1 Ww11 British Army Leicestershire Regiment Bronze Badged Officer CapWw1 - 1914-15 Trio Of Medals - Welsh GuardsWw1 German 1914 Nco Pioneer Bayonet Sawback Gottlieb HammespahrEarly Colt 1911 45 Auto Slide Satisfaction GuaranteedPair Wwi British Medals: Victory & War Medal With Paperwork & Photos RamcWw1 Prussian German Ersatz Artillery Pickelhaube Spike HelmetOriginal Imperial German Prussian M1915 PickelhaubeOriginal Wwi German Model 1898 Sawback Bayonet Mauser Butcher ErfurtMedal Group 1914/15 Star Trio & Long Service Wo2 Royal Field ArtilleryNamed Wwi Us 82nd "all American" Division Wounded Soldier's Uniform Grouping Ww1 Australian Light Horse Spurs With Original Leather Straps Genuine And RareCuff Rank Tunic & Breeches To Scottish Rifles (ww1 Original)Us Ww1 Model 1904 Hospital Corps Bolo Knife Springfield Arsenal 19101917 Wwi Verners Viii Compass Leather Case Whitehouse & Hartley Walsall 1916Ww1 1914-15 Star Medal Trio (mid) & Civil B.e.m. - Spr. C White, Royal Engineers Wwi Us Army 89th Inf Division Officers Tailor-made Tunic, Visor, Sam Brown BeltWwi German Military Helmet With No LinerWwi Rare Us 36th Infantry Texas Division Machine Gun Co. C UniformGerman Ww1 Pickelhaube / Spiked HelmetGerman Wwi Era Issued Cavalry Sword W/s 1897 Dated Rare No ReserveOriginal Austria-hungarian Shako Officer Cavalry Year 1880 / No Reserve Price!!Ww1 German Butcher Bayonet With Scabbard Matching Maker Marks Dated 1917Imperial German Pickelhaube For OfficerWw1 Mons Star - Royal Garrison Artillery (richardson) Military Medal Winner1917 Wwi Wwii Remington Enfield P13 P14 P17 Bayonet M1913 M1917 & Trench Guns1848 Brunswick British Sword Bayonet With No ScabbardRare Orig Miniature Medal Canada General Service Medal Fenian Raid 1866 Bar1st World War Medal Group For Cpl. J. Brown + Badges + Army Ephemera + I.d. Tag+Us Sa Springfield Armory Dated 1916 Model 1905 Bayonet With Scabbard #k97