Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

From what I could find out the picture was taken in July of 1918 at Camp Dodge, Iowa.  It was taken by Englishman Arthur S Mole and American John D Thomas.

"Arthur's great nephew Joseph Mole, 70, says: "In the picture of the Statue of Liberty there are 18,000 men: 12,000 of them in the torch alone, but just 17 at the base. The men at the top of the picture are actually half a mile away from the men at the bottom"."

From the Columbus Telegraph I found this: "Beth Johnson of Columbus brought in a photo of a “Human Statue of Liberty” that her father Cory Hartford was part of when it was taken.
Sharing it with you seemed appropriate on this Memorial Day weekend. The following information about the photo came from the Iowa National Guard:
Eighteen thousand soldiers of the Camp Dodge, 163rd Depot Brigade formed the silhouette of the Statue of Liberty for the renowned shot by Chicago, Ill., photographers Mole and Thomas on Aug. 22, 1918, at 2:30 p.m. Col. William Newman, commander of the 163rd Depot Brigade selected the statue of liberty as the formation for the brigade picture.
Beginning at 1 p.m. companies were assembled and by 2:30 p.m. the proper formation was completed and the photograph taken. The ground was marked out by blocks, in the shape of the statue, which facilitated getting the soldiers into correct formation. From the goddess’ feet to the tip of the torch the symbolical statue measured 400 yards. The picture was taken from a tower 40-feet high, constructed for the occasion. On account of the mass formation and the heat, 12 men fainted and were carried from the field. The high temperature reported for the day was 92 degrees.
The photograph was taken with an 11x14 view camera following several day’s worth of work by the photographers to set up the image on the ground using thousands of yards of white tape. In addition, substantial coordination was required between the photographers and Col. Newman’s staff to ensure the various folds of the gown, the bible, the left hand, and the crown was properly outlined by soldiers wearing white shirts.
The design for the living picture was laid out on the drill ground at Camp Dodge, west of current building S 34 and Maintenance Road. The large photographs were on sale for $1 at all the exchanges in the camp.
The layout at the reported 400 yards was nearly four times the length of the actual Statue of Liberty and the viewer will note that the correct perspective is maintained. The number of men in the various parts include: flame of torch, 12,000 men; torch, 2,800 men; right arm, 1,200 men; body, head and balance of figure, 2,000 men.
This photo and others can be seen at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, which is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 830 to 1630 hours (closed holidays and holiday weekends). The museum is located at Camp Dodge near Johnston, Iowa, just off I35/80. For more information, please contact the curator at (515) 252-4531 or email the"

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