POTD: WWI Soldiers in YMCA Library

    This is a neat old photo of World War I era soldiers relaxing in a library at a YMCA. It’s clearly a staged photo, but still cool nonetheless. All the natural goings-on in a library are shown via the soldiers:¬†one reading a book, one reading a magazine, one selecting a book from the shelf, and two engaged in the check-out process.

    None of the book titles are legible, but some of the magazines on the rack are. They include Scribner’s, National Geographic, Current History, Atlantic Monthly, and The World’s Work.

    Most appealing, to me anyway, is the soldiers reading near the magazine rack. Zooming in on the high resolution version available from the Library of Congress shows him to be armed with an M1917 bolt-action rifle. He is the only armed individual in the photo.

    The two easiest visual distinctions between the M1917 and the M1903 are the shape and location of the rear sight and the shape of the bolt handle.