A new Sepia Saturday theme awaits us for November, “War and Peace.” I have a number of photos of family members who served in the military and fortunately there are still a few I haven’t used yet! For this week, belated as is my style anymore, we have a stereogram photo of Earl William Powis Sr, born 15 October 1896 in Pennsylvania, died 26 Mar 1973 in Florida. Earl was my great grandmother’s brother, and he served in the Navy during World War I from 14 May 1917 through 21 August 1919. In a rare event, we actually have a fully labelled photo with some great detail, so I included the back this time to show you. The back reads, “Baking, September the 5, 1917, Phila Navy Yards.” The internet has a good archive of weather data, so I was able to find out it was 82F that day which is indeed pretty warm (Wunderground link). Phila Navy Yards of course refers to the Philadelphia Navy Yard which is now mostly no longer in use by the Navy. They still have a small presence, but the majority of the land was taken back by the city of Philadelphia.
The photo itself is pretty neat since it’s a stereogram image, the only one I have in all the family photos. You should be able to cross your eyes and see a 3D image appear between the two! I have to imagine either the Navy took this or a fellow sailor with a stereo type camera snapped the photo. The background shows lines of barracks with a wooden walkway and other sailors doing various work in the background as well as some laundry hanging on a line stretched between buildings. At this point in time, Earl had only been in the Navy for just shy of 4 months, so this may have been basic training still. Earl has a slight smile on his face, and it’s so neat to have such a nice, candid sort of photo from a rather early point in photographic time!