World War I

The Spot Where WWI Ended

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A closeup of the plaque.
All that remains of the Frelinghuysen mansion, where Harding signed the Knox-Porter Resolution. Zeete/CC BY-SA 3.0
The spot where U.S. involvement in WWI officially ended. Map data ©2017 Google

Mere steps away from the Burger King in Bridgewater, you’ll notice a strangely landscaped, infrequently visited slice of history.

Though the Somerville Circle is traversed by thousands each day, few realize how close they are to the place where World War I officially ended in the United States, on July 2, 1921.

Though the conflict was over in 1918, the U.S….

The Danger of World War I Shaving Brushes

Mustaches and beards were common among men in the first decade of the 20th century, but military regulations had them shaved clean -because it made a gas mask fit better, and chemical warfare was a real danger to those the front lines. But there were other dangers, especially when the quality of shaving brushes went down.

Before the war,…

How Humble Moss Healed the Wounds of Thousands in World War I

In World War I, the number of wounded soldiers was overwhelming for every participating army. Poor conditions and the difficulty of evacuation meant that many wounds became septic. There just weren’t enough bandages, and nothing could be kept sterile. So battlefront doctors had to get creative. They began to dress wounds with peat moss! Peat, or sphagnum moss, was not only plentiful, but it was super-absorbent: the moss can hold up to 22 times its weight in liquid.

Sphagnum moss also has antiseptic properties. The plant’s cell walls are composed of special sugar molecules that…

Found: World War I Training Tunnels Full of Live Grenades

The entrance to a tunnel.
The entrance to a tunnel. Wessex Archaeology

In Wiltshire, England, a stretch of land is being redeveloped into future housing for Army families, and as part of the work to prepare the site, archaeologists have uncovered tunnels and trenches that were built in the 1910s to prepare soldiers for battlefield conditions in World War I.

The training was intense, as The Guardian reports: even though there was a base nearby, the men would spend weeks in these tunnels during “the brutal winter of 1916-17.”

The excavation has turned up many artifacts of daily life from a century ago—“mess tins, combs, toothbrushes,…

Found: World War I Training Tunnels Full of Live Grenades

The entrance to a tunnel.
The entrance to a tunnel. Wessex Archaeology

In Wiltshire, England, a stretch of land is being redeveloped into future housing for Army families, and as part of the work to prepare the site, archaeologists have uncovered tunnels and trenches that were built in the 1910s to prepare soldiers for battlefield conditions in World War I.

The training was intense, as The Guardian reports: even though there was a base nearby, the men would spend weeks in these tunnels during “the brutal winter of 1916-17.”

The excavation has turned up many artifacts of daily life from a century ago—“mess tins, combs, toothbrushes,…