Thursday, February 21, 2008

PhotoMail! Otherwise known as V-Mail

from Writing Adventures and Exploration of History by Tony Bandy
(Source: National Archives)

Next to chow, a letter from home is one of the best things a soldier can get. However, getting mail to the soldier is not easy, particularly in times of war. The question becomes, what gets to the soldier? Is it bullets, beans, or mail? During World War II, this question was of the utmost importance, especially considering the amount of manpower deployed by the United States overseas and remote corners of the world.

The solution was V-Mail (Victory Mail) or as the Army called it, "Photomail."

(Source: US Army FM 11-150, Photomail Operation)
(Online Source of Manual: Army Heritage Collection Online)

Technically speaking the process was fairly simple. Using required forms, the letter would be photographed, placed on a roll of microfilm and then shipped overseas. Once arrived, the microfilm would then be printed out on special paper and shipped to the soldier. This also worked in reverse, that is the soldier's letters to home would be converted to V-Mail and then shipped back to the States for processing back into printed mail.

Some interesting statistics can be gathered:

* Mail weight was reduced by up to 98%.
* The printed out letters were approximately 1/4 the size of regular letters.
* During the war over 500 million V-Mail letters were shipped overseas!

I've found some good links below that will give you background as well as the actual field manual describing the daily operations of photomail. Have a great day!

See you tomorrow!


Duke University Libraries Digital Collection (Advertising)

National Postal Museum: V-Mail
Army Heritage Collection Online (search for V-Mail)

Wikipedia link: V-Mail


Thursday, February 7, 2008


"Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming
of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the
early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism.
Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing
to give up something or volunteering and giving of themselves for
others. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the
wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. Sundays in Lent are not
counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a
"mini-Easter" celebration of the Jesus' victory over sin and death."


this is awesome

LOC Color Photos, History, and More!

some of you readers this may be old hat, but for others, like myself,
I've just discovered buried treasure in the form of LOC availability on

The end result? LOC (Library of Congress) has in their words:

beginning somewhat modestly, but we hope to learn a lot from it. Out of
some 14 million prints, photographs and other visual materials at the
Library of Congress, more than 3,000 photos from two of our most
popular collections are being made available on our new Flickr page, to include only images for which no copyright restrictions are known to exist...."
Flickr: Photos from The Library of Congress


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mikey can talk

Jasmine (Jaman)
Rosie (WreeWree)
tractor blanket
bye bye guy singing
bye bye guys swimming
turtle (tootool)
tractor cup
Elmo (melmo)
tractor blanket
go bye bye grammas house
the bus


some rights reserved

Creative Commons License
Also for the New American Turk by Joy Shannon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at http:.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://m

all five

all five
Christmas day 2007

plus one

plus one
10 october 2008