|Book of Hours Codex MS 001598|
|Thomas Rowlandson, Illus R796ce|
Shooting for that authentic look for your grim reaper costume this Halloween?
Try these images from our collections on for size. You’ll need to drop the cloak… and your skin as well.
John Hale Chipman did not compose a diary entry on October 31, 1917, and so we’ll catch up with him tomorrow. For today, you can see what John and some of his fellow Dartmouth servicemen looked like in May of 1917 when they posed for a photo on the steps of Webster Hall before heading overseas. Interestingly, Webster Hall now houses Rauner Special Collections Library where you can find John Hale Chipman’s diary and photograph album containing the image below.
By John Hale Chipman, Class of 1919
“October 30, Tuesday, Fair and brisk.
I was called at 6:30 this morning and it was a wonderful day, believe me. We had an order to take our tops off so after a light breakfast we took off our camion [truck] tops and started for a town B. the farthest point south we’ve ever been. The whole trip was through wonderful country and I certainly enjoyed the views of beautiful “untouched” France. B. was a little town where Americans had been almost unseen for we were surrounded by children asking “Etes-vous Americains?” We bought some chocolate and some few cookies for 70¢ but it was good and different anyway. Then we proceeded into the woods just outside of B. where we were loaded with (facines) bundles of shrubs for load building. From here we went through the city the name of which was censored in my former letter (S). There we went down to M. east of S. where some 200 newly captured Germans unloaded us. Here we started for home about 4:45 but I ran out of gasolene so had to stop and fill just as it started to rain. Well, I got on but I stopped at the railroad station near S–s and took on two women and little boy who were going to a hospital about four kilometers up to see their son-father-husband. He had been wounded in the recent attack so I helped them on even in my joggling camion as it was their only means of travel in the rain. I got them to the hospital and showed them in and after I had located their man for them, started out again for the camp where I arrived about 6:30 but turned in at 8.”
By John Hale Chipman, Class of 1919
“October 29, Monday, mud and wet.
Up at 8 and filled up the car with “essence”–gas, then after dinner at 2 left for B. to take rondins [logs] to S. same place as yesterday. Was anxious to see the ruins of rocketboxes but they had all been raked up and the boxes of ammunition we piled up at greater intervals.
This trip was unexciting so far as being used as a target was concerned. While I was here I had the opportunity of examining another big 155 gun, hidden in a sort of grotto on the side of a field and covered with camouflage. Here we talked with the French “tireurs”–firers until the other cars were emptied then we came back for supper. After supper we played cards till Bed 11:30. The offensive is over now so the guns are silent at last.”
We have talked before about our luxurious hand-colored copy of the eleven-volume Blaeu Atlas, Geographia (Amsterdam, 1662), but never delved into a curious digression in the first volume. As you move along through maps of northern Europe in a fairly predictable pattern, you suddenly find yourself zeroing in on unexpected details on the island of Hvæna. There, the atlas takes the reader on a tour of Tycho Brahe’s observatory with fourteen full-page or double-page engraved illustrations.
Why this obsession? It is likely that Joan Blaeu was giving a nod to his father Willem Blaeu who started the family mapmaking business. Willem had been a student under Brahe at Hvæna, and it was during his time with Brahe that he developed his skills constructing globes. It is also a gesture to Joan Blaeu’s own qualifications. The attention given to Brahe’s measurement instruments suggests a certain level of technical expertise, thus elevating the already grand atlas through association.
To enjoy a walk through Brahe’s observatory at Hvæna, ask for volume 1 of Rare G1015.B48 1662.
Up at 6:30 and out of here at 7 for a double trip with 4 camions [trucks]. We loaded at B. with rondins [logs] and unloaded at another B. Then we went to another parc de génie [engineer park] at the same town and loaded with small boards for the trenches. Here we got stuck in a ditch but we soon got out after we harnessed up two camions [trucks] to pull us out (8 to ten tons). Then we left here about 12 o’clock for S. some 20 kilometers distant. This is a very interesting spot and I’ll tell you all the information not permitted in letters when I get home. But on our way to S. we had to roll over some terrible roads just swimming with mud and in trying to pass along ammunition trains I guess we got stuck six or seven times on the sides of the roads. In one hole I got up up to the hubs and when I was getting out a staff car came up and stopped right in front of me before I could tell the fool driver my car was in difficult trouble and liable to balk. I asked him to draw back a bit but being too lazy or otherwise, he stubbornly staid where he was. Well when old No. 6 gave her last plunge to get out of her difficulty, she just made a jump at the staff car and gave it a broken mud guard and step for its obstinacy. So the driver got his just medicine, tho’ I didn’t give it to him intentionally. My car wasn’t hurt (10 tons against 1 is no match–no wonder I won) so we proceeded to S. and unloaded there. We got there after the others had left and as we were eating the lunch the chef left for us we heard three whines in the aid, almost indistinct at first then growing louder, and accompanied with a rush of air, then we heard an awful bang and saw three flashes of fire about 150 yards away. It was then we realized these arrivées were meant for the park where we were standing. A little later we had another taste of it but believe me after our first taste we immediately ate the rest of our grub, hastily filled our gas tanks and beat it but just as we headed on our road home we heard a similar rush and thunder of shells which this time hit their mark. No sooner had the shells exploded above us then I saw a regular 4th of July celebration. A box of signal skyrockets and fusées, having been hit, started flashing and worming their way into the black sky. First a sputter, then a flaky tail of fire shot up into the night only to burst out into 3, 4, 5, or 6 balls of crimson, green or blue. Upward, on the ground and at all angles the rocket shot striking fresh boxes which immediately ignited. We had to stop and watch it for it was so sudden and wonderful, tho’ it wasn’t till afterwards that we realized that, had the guns which started this treat for us, been aimed just a fraction of an inch to the right and fired,–well we probably now would be in a position to write books on the “world we left behind.” Anyway we wanted to get nearer so we kept on the road straight ahead and as we approached we could see that a whole section of boxes had been destroyed and lay in read smouldering ashes throwing out a radiating glow on on a back-ground of darkness. Believe me, it was some sight.
After we scratched along this road to O. we branched off and took our road home, getting to bed about 11:00 o’clock, some tired but having witnessed one of the rarest of experiences.”
“October 27, Saturday, Fair but muddy.
Today we had a day off to fix up the cars so I worked on mine all morning. In the P. M. I went down to the Y. M. C. A. tent and M. Deçon and I practised so he could sing tonight. After supper we gave another concert, but not so good as last Saturday night, I thought, tho’ we had most of the same performers. One new feature tho’ was a soldier-actor of the Comedis Francaise who gave several dramatic recitations and he certainly was great. M. Deçon was wonderfully good as last Saturday. (His name is Decon instead of Marçon as I wrote last week.)
After the concert we came up and turned in to the roar of distant guns as they were winding up the offensive. Bed 10:30.”
“October 26, 1917. Friday, Intermittent rains.
Up at 7:45 washed, breakfasted and went down to the atelier’s [mechanic shop] and had No. 6 put into shape. I worked there till dinner time then came up and ate. 12 of our camions [trucks] started out for a night trip, but George and I did not have to go as we are both down at the workshop. We both worked there all afternoon then as our car was finished we came up just in time for supper.
You see the other night Bill Clark smashed into us so we had to have a new crank handle, tightened spring, shackle, new side step, new side box, tool box and have the rear books bent into place. Anyway now we look fine and after oiling and greasing her up, we go swell.
After supper George and I sat around in the remorse [trailer] playing Euchar (is that the way to spell it?) writing, (after answering this one of Ralph Binney’s, I will have finished all the letters I have owed. That makes about seventy-five different people to whom I have written a letter. Instead of reading novels or such momentary stuff, I enjoy more writing, so that is how I have time to do it.
I read a bit of French then this Key Notes then was planning to go to bed when at 10:30 Prothero came into my remorque and informed me I’d have to go over to Fere to get Chan Brown who was stuck there while loading some 155s. Well I bundled up to face the misty rain and Dow and I started out but we didn’t get far, for Chan gave up in despair as soon as the darkness had come and came home in another camion. He saw us so we turned around and came back some relieved, believe me. Bed 11:45.”
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