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    

German Wwi Helmet Mail Home Label Vet Bring Back Major Medic Field Hospital Ww1Us Helmet Combat-original Rare With 2nd Division Shield Kia Named W/ Serial #Wwi Usmc Purple Heart Wia 6th Regt.Yugoslavia Serbia Order Of White Eagle Medal Badge Imperial Royal Russia Wwi Ww1Prussian Model 1915 Pickelhaube – Attic Fresh Ww1 British Royal Flying Corps Raf Brass Bi Plane Shell Cartridge Trench ArtOriginal Wwi Eagle Patriotic God Bless America Americana Propaganda Silk Flag P.o.w.trio 1914 Mons Star/ Clasp/roses/war Badge Medal Group.1st.scots GuardsRothe & Jeffe Austrian 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class Original Case 100% Original NrVery Unusual Ww1 Trench Art Miniature Coffin With 13mm Inert Spent BulletGerman Wwi Pickelhaube Spike Helmet Unit Stamp Prussian Eagle Origianal Ww1Imperial German, French, Us Wwi Steel Helmets – Recent Attic FindWorld War 1 Gunboat [trench Art]Ww1 World War One War Medal Trio To 15800 Pte W.h Luckham Devonshire RegimentRare Antique Imperial Russian Dragoon Officers Shashka Sword Sabre KindjalPre Wwi German S98 Mauser Sawback Bayo-c.g. Haenel Suhl 1905Ww1 Ww2 German Boot Knife W Scabbard Original DaggerImperial German Model 1917 Helmet Liner Size 64Antique Solid Brass Ww1 Trench Art Vickers Gun 1914-1919Wwi Imperial German Artillery M.15 Pickelhaube Helmet-original-1916 Dated-niceWw1 Great War Officers Trench Warfare Whistle Dated 1914 Broad Arrow Marked1914 Star Medal Kia Casualty Mm Winner Royal Irish Regiment Tipperary Medal Group Obe, 1914/15 Star Trio, Defence Monmouth Home Guard And NewfoundlandWwi German M16 Steel Combat Helmet W/liner Nj62K.i.a.trio 1914 Mons Star & Clasp Medal Group. Ist Bn. East Lancashire Rgt.Ww1 Australian Light Horse Leather Bandolier, Anzac, Aif, Deceased Estate Original Ww1 Princess Mary 1914 Christmas Tin + Contents Pencil ,pipe ,taper Antique Vtg Binoculars 16 X 60 Carl Zeiss Jena Telaggio Wwl U-boat Wwii? GermanyRare Ww1 Era U S Army Cavalry Canteen With Cover-leather Strap And Belt ClipAntique German ±1936 W.michovius Cottbus Dress Hunting Dagger Forestry Cutlass SImperial Russian Cossacks, Sword/,shashka.Wwii Italian M1891 Carcano Bayo & Shovel Set W/ Rare Combination FrogWwi Canadian Captain's UniformUs Army Denim Shirt, Original, Deadstock, Mint Wwi, WwiiWw1 1914-15 Star Medal,killed In Action At Gallipoli,australian Imperial ForceUsmc World War I Marine Corps Machine Gun Son In Service Flag & Collar DiscsOriginal World War I Us Army Aviation Pilot Wing Badge.Original German Wwi Fighting Knife With Scabbard Marked Demag DuisburgOrig. Mint Ww1/ww2 Us 1911, 1917, Colt, S&w Pistol Lanyard .45 Auto Ww1 German Combat Helmet, Another Family Estate ItemOriginal Wwi German Officer Pickelhaube Chin Scales Chinstrap Set 3Ww1 Period 1902 Pattern Other Ranks Tunic .kings Crown Ra Buttons +rfa TitlesCased Ww1 Imperial German Prussian Aviator Pilot Badge C.e. Juncker + Engraved Trench Art 303 Bullet Ww1 Tri- Plane Solid Brass With Copper Crosses Red Baron Antique Vintage Old Pre Ww1 Pre Ww2 Australian Army 9th Light Horse Saddle AnzacHand Made Trench Art Copper Brass Box Gothic Arts & Crafts Antique Trunk ChestMedal Group 1914/15 Star Trio Mentioned In Despatches, Long Service Royal Navy7th Gloucestershire Reg Ww1 Trio Medals Died Kia Gallipoli Fr Minehead SomersetBulgarian Reissued Wwi German Model 1916 Helmet W/ Liner & Chinstrap & Red StarAntique German Pickelhaube Spiked HelmetBritish War Medal Sister Nurse ' French Flag Nursing Corps ' Red Cross Original Wwi German Army Sawback 'butcher' Blade Mauser Bayonet W/ Leather FrogAntique Russian,kavkaz, Kindjal. Dagger!!!Brass Trench Art Ww1 Field Gun ModelWw1 Tall Trench Art French Shell Engraved & Dated 1918.Medal Group 1914 Mons Star Trio Corporal 21st (emperess Of India's) LancersRare World War I Home Front Food Conservation Poster Eat Less Meat Patriotic NrOriginal Ww1 Princess Mary 1914 Christmas Tin, Silver Bullet Pencil ,pipe,tinderUs 1917 Bayonet Scabbard Wwi Wwii Gf Marked 1905 Fits Garand ToRare Wwi German Luger Wood Follow & Bottom Serial #'d 8 Round Magazine