Bluejackets at play in the last part of the 19th Century

Here is a great series of postal cards from the Detroit Publishing Co in the 1870s-1890s showing various scenes around the fleet. Several of these were taken on the grand old ship of the line USS Vermont which spent her entire life as a receiving ship. Others are on steel ships such as the protected cruiser USS Atlanta, and armored cruisers USS New York (ACR-2) and USS Brooklyn (ACR-3).

USS Brooklyn, "Apprentice boys at school." Note the casemate gun

USS Brooklyn, “Apprentice boys at school.” Note the casemate gun

USS Atlanta, "Sword exercise" It should be noted the Navy still had cutlasses on some ships through WWII

USS Atlanta, “Sword exercise” 1880s.  It should be noted the Navy still had cutlasses on some ships through WWII. Note the Marine officer in kepi and the bluejackets in flatcaps.

USS Vermont ,1890, "Recruits waiting to be transferred." note the hammock bedrolls on the bulkhead

USS Vermont, 1890, “Recruits waiting to be transferred.” note the hammock bedrolls on the bulkhead and dixie cups.

USS New York, "Scribbing down"

USS New York, “Scrubbing down”

USS Brooklyn, "Preparing Christmas dinner"

USS Brooklyn, “Preparing Christmas dinner”

USS Brooklyn, "A quiet little game" showing bluejackets at play as a Marine looks on. Dig the landing gun to the left of the image.

USS Brooklyn, “A quiet little game” showing bluejackets at play as a Marine looks on. Dig the landing gun to the left of the image under canvas.

Most of these are in the LOC under in their original B&W higher resolution condition (e.g. New York) should you be interested.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

One response to “Bluejackets at play in the last part of the 19th Century”

  1. Alex Magoun says :

    Since you’ve visited the Library of Congress Detroit Publishing Company collection, the dating of the postcards to the 1880s-90s is a little surprising. The first U.S. picture postcards were issued for the Columbian Exposition in 1893, but Congress did not standardize the mailing format and penny postage until 1898. The New York and Brooklyn were both commissioned in the 1890s. As the LoC’s backgrounder (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/det/background.html) indicates, the photos used in the company’s color “Photochrom” postcards from 1905 onward date back to the 1890s at the earliest. Unfortunately the LoC seems to have the USS Texas as a postcard (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.18030/?co=pgz), but you can enjoy this postcard of the Austro-Hungarian naval yard at Pola in Istria, now Pula in part of Croatia (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsc.09551/).

    It’s worth noting that this is the first U.S.S. Vermont, laid down in 1818, launched 1848, and used as a receiving ship until decommissioned in 1901 [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Vermont_(1848)].

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