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Detail of 4th July. Photo by Bain News Service, 1918 July 4.

A Dazzling Fourth of July Parade

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On the 4th of July in 1918, World War I still raged, and so the New York City parade marking America’s independence focused on the war effort. This particular parade entry caught my attention because of the oversized model ship, and more specifically, the pattern painted on that ship! The idea of dazzle camouflage was new and experimental in World War I. Its goal was to misdirect and confuse enemy ships trying to accurately identify and target Allied vessels and determine their course, speed, and distance.

The sign on the side of this model ship indicates it was built by “Finnish Ship Builders,” which fits one of the themes of the daylong parade. Many entries sent down Fifth Avenue featured immigrants to America, as well as their contributions to the war effort.

4th July. Photo by Bain News Service, 1918 July 4.

Happy Independence Day to all Americans!

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  1. Feliz 4 de julio

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