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    

Wwi Us Army Model 1913 Patton Cavalry Saber Sword-dated 1913-serial #5112Ww1 Imperial German Navy Officer Dress Dagger Sword Bayonet Wwii Us Vet. EstateOld Original Wwi Purple Heart Medal Ribbon& Lapelpin&box-soldier IdentifiedRare Usmc Trench Art Wwi Aluminum Canteen Wwii Usn Sweetheart Trench Art Great! Original Wwi Us Air Service Dallas Type Pilot Wing BadgeAntique French 1845 Pattern Infantry Sabre (sword) Modified 1882Ww1 Ww2 Prussian German K98 M1884/98 Sawback Spike Bayonet Mauser, Great Shape!Original Wwi Us 81st Div Uniform Group Named Leon Adams W/dogtags Gas Mask Books1916 Stahlhelm German Wwi M1916 Helmet With 1918 Camouflage Original Camo HelmetRare Genuine World War One Australian Military Boer Medal Group X 6 Miniatures German World War 1 Helmet. Vet Bring Back With Identification Of VeteranOriginal Wwi Army Air Service Pilot's Olive Drab Wool Uniform CoatWwi Imperial German Iron Cross 1st Class Medal-original-excellent-vaultedOriginal L.f.&c. 1918 Patton Sword Saber With Scabbard - World War One Wwi Vintage Wwi German Saxon Shako HelmetGerman Wwi Rich A. Herder 1918 Solingen K98 Bayonet With Correct Ww1 ScabbardGermany Wwi Imperial German Prussian Spiked Helmet PickelhaubeL.f.&c.trench Knife Metal Sheath 1918 Usa 7-1/4 Long X 1-1/4 WideUs Army Ww1 Cavalry M-1904 Leather Saddle Bags 1918 Vtg Horse Riding RareWwii Us '03 Springfield Rifle Bayonet ~ Sa 1910 With Wwii 1942 Style ScabbardWwi Us Model 1917 Enfield Rifle Stock3x Ww1 Leather Pistol Holster Canister & Pannier Case Light Horse Infantry?100% Original British Ww1 Brodie With Double Divsion Regiment Crest InsigniaWwi Us '03 Springfield Rifle Bayonet ~ Sa 1906 W/canvas Covered ScabbardWwi U.s.army Campaign Hat,great Condition,1917-1918Antique French 1857 Pattern Non-commissioned Officer Sword - Early 20thGordon Highlanders Unmarked Silver Officers 3d Bonnet Badge, Broken!Us Wwi Ww1 Aef 26th Yd Yankee Division Painted Helmet 102nd Fa Field ArtilleryPre Ww1 British Martini-henry Rifle P-1887 Mki Bayonet + Scabbard, Nepal Issue !Pair Ww1 Medals - Captain + Mentioned In Despatches.Rare Maker German Wwi M1898/05 Butcher Bayonet F. Koeller Ohligs With ScabbardOriginal Wwi Us Army Camouflage Painted HelmetOriginal Ww1 German Bavarian Military Brass Belt Buckle - In True FateRussia ! Wwi George Cross Ii Class! Gold! World War I! RaritetFirst Army Air Service Pilot's Summer Uniform German Wwi M1898/05 Butcher Bayonet Anker Werke Bielefeld With ScabbardWw1 Italian M.1870/87/15 Vetterli-vitali Bayonet & 2° Tipo Scabbard – Rare TypeOriginal Wwi Us Army Indigo Denin Blue Daisy Mae Size 7-1/4 Dated 1917Wwi German Helmet Original Paint, Big Size 66-very Nice!Royal Flying Corp Peak Cap Ww1 Imperial German Or's (e,m's) Prussian M15 Field Belt. Ww1 U.s. Army Bayonet With Leather Scabbard - 1917 - RemingtonVintage Ww1 1918 Trench Bolo Knife A.c.c.o Chicago Usmc W/ Original SheathWw2 Waltham Military Pocket Watch No ReserveOriginal Ww1 German Military Trench Art Soldier W/ Helmet Brass Shell CupNice Air Force Defense Officer's Austrian Dagger 1937 Sword Pilot's Knife RareBoer War Issue P1827 British Rifle Officer's Sword. Edward VllNice Wwi G98 / K98 Butcher Blade Bayonet Mauser OberndorfWw1 British Trio 1914-15 Star War & Victory Liverpool Regiment H.stevenson 2362 Ww1 Ww2 Cef Canadian Medic Photograph Album,4 Medals Stars Silver Cvsm And More!Wwi Trench Art Copper Ashtray Part Of German Submarine Deutschland U Boat U155Good Wwi Collectable: Queen Mary’s 1914 Christmas Box Present To The TroopsWw1 German Pickelhaube Spiked HelmetEuropean Hussar Cavalry Sword-german Made-marked S & KOriginal German Wwi 1917 Dated Presentation Cup From Infantry Unit Rare British Pattern Australian 1875 Henry Rifle Sawback Bayonet German Made WowAuthentic Us Model Remington 1899 Rolling Block Bayonet Very Nice CoditionTrench Art Brass Plane & Ash Tray Lighter CombinationPre Ww2 Swedish Wwi M-1915 "long Navy" Carbine Bayonet, Great Condition!Ww1 1914-15 Star Medal Trio & Death Plaque - 12th Lancers Kia