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1919 Mole & Thomas Living Uncle Sam Photograph Photo Postcard Camp Lee Virginia For Sale
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This is an original WWI era photo postcard issued by the Mole & Thomas Company of Chicago featuringThe Living Uncle Samphotograph taken at Camp Lee, Virginia. The Mole & Thomas Company produced a variety of these "Living Photographs" during the First World War when thousands of military personnel would be arranged to create partiotic images such as Uncle Sam shown here. This postcard has text at the bottom explaining the image and advertsing the 11" x 14" photo which could be purchased from Mole & Thomas for $1.00.
This card is not postally used and measures about 5.5" x 3.5" with a 1919 copyright date. One corner is slightly bumped and there is a bit of light foxing and dust staining on the verso. There is a bit of what looks like the remnant from a scrapbook corner mount on one corner on the back but overall condition is good. Email any questions. Thanks for looking. Please see my other listings for another Mole & Thomas Living Photograph advertising postcard.
The following is some information on photographer Arthur Mole from Wikipedia:
Arthur S. Mole (born 1889 in England - died 1983 in the United States) was an English commercial artist who became famous for a series of "living photographs" made during World War I, in which tens of thousands of soldiers, reservists and other members of the military were arranged to form massive compositions. Although if viewed from the ground or from directly above, these masses of men would appear meaningless, when seen from the top of an 80-foot viewing tower, they clearly appeared to be various patriotic shapes. The key was to photograph the people from the one place where the lines of perspective would resolve themselves into intelligible images. His partner in this endeavor was John D. Thomas.
Mole worked as a commercial photographer in Zion, Illinois, north of Chicago. During World War I, he traveled to various Army, Marine and Navy camps to execute his massive compositions. He is considered a pioneer in the field of performed group photography. Executing photographs using such large numbers, and relying on lines of perspective stretching out more than a hundred meters, required a week of preparation and then hours to actually position the formations.
Ten images are most famous from this period. They include images of Woodrow Wilson, the Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, an American eagle as well as emblems of the YMCA and the Allied flags. The Human U.S. Shield required the placement of 30,000 people; The Liberty Bell 25,000.
Mole's work is featured in the collections of the Chicago Historical Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress. The photographs were again presented to the public in the July 2007 issue of "Martha Stewart Living." Eight of the images are displayed in a feature article. Furthermore, his technique lives on in a contemporary military public relations context.
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1919 Mole & Thomas Living Uncle Sam Photograph Photo Postcard Camp Lee Virginia: $33