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    

Vintage Large Size Gents Military Ww1 Rolex Sterling Silver Trench WatchWw1 British 1st Pattern Type 1 'raw Edge' Steel Brodie Helmet And Liner. 2 Antique Wwi Era German Inert Military Artillery Anti Personnel Bombshells YqzWwi Us Model 1917 Bolo Knife W/ Sheath-plumb 1918-originalU.s. Army Wwii Or Wwi Field Tent Shelter Half With Poles Pegs Rope Us Ww1 Ww2 ?Quality Wwi Era Swiss Hunter Cased Trench Watch. Needs Attention2 X Antique World War 1 Wwi War Medals Original Ribbon & Engraving On Edge - O05Russian A.m. Sidorov Factory M1881/1909 Dragoon Officer's Shashka Sword Wwi Us Model 1918 Mounted Cartridge Belt W/ .45 Magazine Pouch-1918-originalWwi Us Model 1917 P17 Enfield Bayo-remington 1917-w/ ScabbardWwi Us M1912 Cavalry Ration Bags Pack-originalWwi Us Model 1913 Patton Cavalry Saber Sword-l.f&c. 1918-nice Scabbard And BladeWwi German Pickelhaube Felt Spike Helmet No ReserveWw1 Officer's Solid Silver Trench Watch 1916. Black Dial.Original Ww1 German Gas Mask With Cannister, Straps In Great Condition, Ww2 Us Gi Army Bayonet M-1 Garand Rifle Us Uc Uttica Cutlery Ny 16" M1 Knife Ww1Russian Caucasian Cossack's Officer Sword Shashka By "guzunov" No ReserveWwi Ww1 Imperial German 1898/05 Sawback Butcher Bayonet, Scabbard Horster 1913Ww1 1915 Dated British Army Black Ripple Leather Pistol Ammo Pouch X G Battle Prussian Officer Reserve Pckelhaube Helmet With Extra Tall SpikeWw1. Miniature Medal Group Of 4. M.m.b.1914 Star/ 5 Aug Bar / DespatchesRare Wwi German Camouflage Helmet Original Surface World War OneWw1 British Army Armourers Brass Smle & No 4 Enfield Rifle Bore Viewer X EfdVery Cool German Wwi Helmet Intact!Presentation Cased - 54th (kootenay) Bn, Cef Sterling & Enamel Sweetheart BadgeWw1 German Helmet. Stahlhelm. Size 68. Camo. Medic. Complete With Liner.Japanese Model 1883 Navy Sword Toyokawa Naval ArsenalWwi Ww1 Imperial German Ks 98 Colonial Sawback Bayonet W Unit Mkd Scabbard 1914Ww1 Scottish Kilt Military Other Ranks Scots Tartan Rare DatedVery Rare Orig Ww1 Cap Badge Canadian No 1 Jewish Infantry CompanyWw1 Brodie HelmetWw1 Rfc Pilots Watch Doxa Non Luminous Black Dial Mark V With StrapWw1 Brass British No80 Sectioned Trench Art Paper Weight Somme Relic, May 1918British Medal: Commander Order Of The British Empire (military) C.b.e. In CaseHammond Multiplex Antique Typewriter Rare Wwi Army Green Round Keys Leather CaseGerman Ww1 Pickelhaube HelmetRare Ww1 Model 1917 Bolo Knife And Scabbard-both Maker MarkedWwi Us Army M1910 Canteen Set W/ Mounted Cavalry Cover Lovely Ww1 Trench Art Rfc - Royal Flying Corp Lighter 1918Danish Model 1915 Krag Jorgensen Bayo-rare-dated 1917-niceOriginal Captured Ww1 German Pickelhaube Leather Spiked Helmet W/ ChinstrapWw1 Us Remington Model 1917 Bayonet Us M 1917 Remington Bayonet With ScabbardWw1 German Made Turkish Enamel Order Gallipoli Star Iron Crescent & 800 Silver TWw1 British / Australian Remington P.1913 Sword Bayonet & Scabbard - 1916Ww1 Brass British No85 Sectioned Trench Art Paper Weight Somme Relic Dated 1916Ultra Rare Orig Ww1 "unpublished" Officers Cap Badge 1st Motor Machine Gun BdeWw1 British Army Small Box RespiratorWw1 Us Painted Helmet, 79 Div. Insignia CamoGerman Ww1 M16 Helmet Shell (original Paint)Wwi German 98/05 Butcher Blade Bayonet Mauser Oberndorf A.n. 1917 Dated SpineExtremely Rare Orig Ww1 Officers Collar Badge 1st Canadian Tank BattalionWorld War 1 Dough Boy HelmetOriginal Wwi German (mecklenburg) State Kokard For Spiked Helmet PickelhaubeU.s. Army Wwii Or Wwi Field Tent Shelter Half Us Ww2 Ww1 AmericanRussian Caucasian Cossack's Silver Sword / Shashka By "isa" No ReserveWwi German Soldiers M-16 Transitional HelmetOfficer's Sword German? Complete With Scabbard And KnotWw1 French Lebel M1886 Bayonet & Scabbard 1886 ShortenedVintage Ww2 Italy Lockback Folding Trench Survival Bowie Knife Knives Antique Nr