WW1 Era Aberdeen Proving Ground Photograph Collection | 1920s
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Here we have a large collection of World War 1 era military photography from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, circa early 1920s. The black and white photography collection contains two large framed photograph prints of live testing for a huge railway gun, as well as a three ring binder album containing 65 photographs of various sizes, subjects and angles. Taking it all in, it's a stunning collection a time and place, and a ton of metal, gears and firepower.
The collection comes out of the archives of the Minnesota Historical Society. If you want to see the full collection of photographs, send me a message with your email and I'll share a Google photo album so you can check them out.
Aberdeen Proving Ground was established in 1917 as an answer to an immediate need for national defense. As a result of entering World War I in April 1917, the Army urgently required a new site for testing war munitions. The Army needed a larger, less populated space than what was then available at Sandy Hook Proving Ground at Fort Hancock, New Jersey. The search eventually landed on an area along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay near the city of Aberdeen, Maryland.
It took an act of Congress and two presidential proclamations, providing financial compensation for the 35,000 acres of upland and 34,000 acres of swamp and tidal lands, to persuade the farmers to leave their property. The government took formal possession of the land at Aberdeen on Oct. 20, 1917, and immediately began building testing facilities. Beginning in January 1918, the new proving ground at Aberdeen would proof-test field artillery weapons, ammunition, trench mortars, air defense guns and railway artillery. The mission was later expanded to include operation of an Ordnance training school and developmental testing of small arms.
When World War I ended in November of that same year, APG’s peacetime mission shifted to emphasize research and development of munitions. Military and civilian personnel conducted developmental testing of powders, projectiles and bombs, and the study of interior and exterior ballistics. The airfield, named Phillips Army Air Field in honor of APG’s second commander, was used by aircraft that supported the creation of bombing tables. The techniques these tables provided improved the adequacy of aerial bombing.
The WW1 photography collection contains two large photographs in vintage frames. The three ring binder is worn with "Aberdeen Proving Grounds 1921" written on the front. Some of the photographs have ring holes, and others are just loose. Some photographs are curling, and some are flat. Please see all pics as they are part of the description.
I ship FedEx to street addresses in the continental USA only (no PO Boxes). Free shipping on the rare military collection.
They were testing some serious munitions. Ear muffs!