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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: NH 85292 (extended caption)

"A Sailor's Sewing Day Reminds Him Keenly of Home and Mother -- Life on Board a Battleship"

Photograph probably taken on board USS Minnesota (Battleship # 22), circa 1910, and published on a stereograph card by the Keystone View Company during the World War I period.
Note other men relaxing and reading. Note "Nick Carter" magazine in center, and men at right holding a USS Minnesota cap ribbon. .
See below for the text printed on the original stereograph card's reverse side, concerning the sailors' "comfort bags" and other items provided by American women through the Red Cross and Navy League during World War I.

Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN(MSC), 1975

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 95KB; 630 x 675 pixels

A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 85292-A

Online Image of stereo pair: 74KB; 675 x 355 pixels



Text printed on the reverse of the original stereograph card:

A Sailor's Sewing Day

Each sailor is expected to keep his clothing in good repair. Perhaps when he is sewing up a rent in his trousers or darning his socks he appreciates more than ever before the nimble fingers and loving heart of mother at home. It is needless to say that mother would be more than glad to be able to perform these little services for her boy at sea.
Very likely she has provided him with a "comfort bag" for his use at sea. These "comfort bags" were made for our soldiers and marines under the supervision of the Red Cross Society and other organizations.
The bags were made of washable material, measuring 10 to 13 inches with a draw string at the top. They contained as many as possible of the following articles: Khaki colored sewing cotton No. 30; white sewing cotton No. 30; gray darning cotton; package of needles No. 5; darning needle; needle case; buttons, black and white, medium size, in bag 3 by 5 inches; large thimble; blunt pointed scissors; soap; safety pins, medium size; common pins; small comb; tooth brush; small round mirror; handkerchief; lead pencil; writing pad; envelopes; post cards; pocket knife; shoe laces.
The Navy League supervised the making of other articles for the comfort of the sea men. These were sweaters, helmets, mufflers and wristlets knitted of gray yarn. Units of this league were formed all over the United States. These units gave out knitting material to all women who would knit for the soldiers at sea.
If women could not go to war, they could at least do their bit at home as long as the Navy League, Red Cross and other organizations were in need of articles which would add to the comfort of the soldiers.

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23 April 2001