Reference staff member Jon Eaker spotted this photograph several months ago in the Bain News Service photographs.
Jon, who has looked at many a World War I photograph in our holdings, remarked:
It may be my favorite of our WWI pictures. This beast symbolizes how the introduction of widespread mechanization changed warfare. It looks like plate metal was riveted over a train and they even threw a gun in the front for good measure. The angle of the photo is perfect so you can see the full length of it.
Another thing that caught my eye: the ironic spelling mistake that appeared in the caption that the news service wrote on the glass plate. Surely the captioner wasn’t intending to coin a new shorthand term for a train originating in Austria?
- This photograph has been shared in the Library of Congress Flickr account, where members have pointed out sources of background information as well as related items at other institutions.
- Read up on the Bain News Service and see more examples of its captioning practices, no doubt affected by the haste with which a daily supplier of photographs for newspapers and other publications operated.
- Explore the many resources relating to World War I that Jon has outlined in a reference aid, World War I in Pictures: An Overview of Prints and Photographs Division Collections.