COLOUR-BAR-SOR-INSERT-2-DEC






Walter Koessler Project WW1 photographs

An extensive personal look into World War I

Tumblr (3.0; @wwiphotos)
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/

Experience World War I through a German officer's photos:Friends, I have two pieces of great news to share with you.

After nearly two years of work researching, scanning and wringing my hands over this photo album, I’ve launched a Kickstarter to help me print its pages as a high quality book so everyone can experience a century gone by as I have. I feel this is important because I want the powerful content of Walter’s photos to be discussed and considered in person, not just on a screen.

The response has been enormous. In one short day we’ve raised over $12,000 to print this book, and two hundred people have given their support. Kickstarter has featured the project as a staff pick, you’ll see me on the homepage of kickstarter.com all day today. (Update: Wow, $18,000 when I woke up!) I was deeply worried that this might not be something anyone outside my family would care about, and I’ve been thoroughly proven wrong. Thank you.

Secondly, thanks so much to the communities at Boing Boing and Reddit for encouraging this project to move forward. In my day job I work as Boing Boing’s software developer, and they’ve encouraged me to put up a highlight post of the trenches. Fear not, these pages will appear shortly on the Tumblr.

/r/history has been updated on this project periodically for over a year and has been nothing but glowing with positive and encouraging words. I am speaking to many new followers here, and I imagine many of you are among them. Thank you for telling me you wanted to see this.

This Tumblr space will continue to post each page and my highlighted images in chronological order at Tumblr’s file upload limit. Those of you particularly excited about the project should check out the Kickstarter– there are great digital downloads, higher resolution images and a really gorgeous book of rare photos coming soon.

Thank you all, especially those early believers, for following along in this journey.

Dean

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57713097668
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57713097668
Thu, 08 Aug 2013 10:02:28 -0700
kickstarter
update
love











Scanned from negative













Page 9 of 105

 

Found some negatives for this page! There are certainly many more on other pages, but I’ll save those for later. The snow photos are great, and they’re in the right places in the book. I realized a while back that you can tell what year it is by when the snow appears. This is likely near the end of 1914 or the beginning of 1915, taking a break for the holidays.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57167373645
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57167373645
Fri, 02 Aug 2013 10:02:36 -0700
WWI History
wwi
wwi photos
history
photography
walter koessler
world war i
world war one
Black and White






















Page 8 of 105

 

Portraits of friends, marching, and preparing to butcher a cow with an axe. I love the guy crouching to photobomb his friend’s portrait!

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57074865863
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57074865863
Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:02:32 -0700
WWI History
wwi
wwi photos
walter koessler
Black and White
history
military
world war i
world war one


















Page 7 of 105

 

A visit home for one of Walter’s friends. In the final photo here, the soldier’s mother dresses in his uniform.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57004883156
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/57004883156
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 15:00:09 -0700
WWI History
wwi
wwi photos
Black and White
military
page 7
walter koessler




















Page 6 of 105

 

I’m catching up on scanning here, and should have new versions of the negatives finished soon. Here, Walter and the boys take some group shots. Lots of great old cars and their drivers!

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/56893174705
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/56893174705
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:21:26 -0700
walter koessler
page 6
Black and White
wwi
WWI History
wwi photos
world war i
world war one
military
portrait







Walter with a motorcycle


Walter on a horse


Walter on a train. Second from right.








Pretty sure that's Walter at the desk





Page 5

 

Lots of photos of Walter here. I’m pretty sure that’s Walter with the Wanderer motorcycle in the first photo, as well as on the horse and standing on the front of the train.

The photos at the desk make me wonder if they’re doing paperwork or planning something. I wish I could make out what the packaging in the foreground says, or the map on the wall.

These photos have a lot of writing on the back, all pretty much indecipherable to me. I’ll post that separately.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/51733206519
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/51733206519
Thu, 30 May 2013 10:02:00 -0700
page 5
world war i
world war one
military
early 1900s
black and white
bicycle
motorcycle
trains
vintage
antique
photography












Today I realized that about 50-60 of the negatives I’ve scanned didn’t get exposed properly by the scanner and I will need to rescan them. This is good news because when properly exposed there’s a lot more detail in each image than I expected, but bad news because they’re mixed in randomly and are going to be hard to find. I may just redo the whole batch I’ve already done to save time on sorting.

 

On that note, here are four photos from page 3 of the album, scanned from the negatives.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/51651640608
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/51651640608
Wed, 29 May 2013 10:02:18 -0700
world war i
world war one
wwi
WWI History
wwi photos
history
photography
Black and White
1900s
germany
military
Cannons
vintage
antique
















Page 4 of 105

 

Today: cannons! Walter was in the reserve artillery battalion, so most of his work involved moving and preparing cannons for war. These photos have notes on the back marking them as from 1914. One of the cannon photos is marked as “German 130 m/m gun”. Reddit previously suggested that these might be this 7.7cm cannon, but I think that because of the time and Walter’s note it might actually be this earlier Krupp cannon.

These are mostly unsent postcards. It’s unclear if Walter took them and printed them on card himself or if they’re professionally done. I love the photos of the band and the precision measuring equipment they’re using with the cannons. It seems strange that they’d have a band with this group, how things have changed!

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/51569061782
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/51569061782
Tue, 28 May 2013 10:10:02 -0700
page 4
world war i
world war one
walter koessler
cannons
Black and White
photography
wwi photos
WWI History
wwi






















Page 3 of my great-grandfather’s WWI photo album.

 

This is the very beginning of the war for Walter. The first photo with the group is an unsent postcard, probably from training. Walter was in the reserve artillery battalion, so this is also our first look at some of the cannons he was working with. When I’d shared these previously, the images were too small to determine the types of cannons, but perhaps now that I’ve scanned them someone can identify them.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/50360539975
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/50360539975
Mon, 13 May 2013 12:52:36 -0700
history
WWI History
Black and White
photography
wwi photos
wwi
war
Cannons
artillery
military
germany
page 3
vintage
walter koessler






Apart from the album, Walter also took a whole bunch of stereographs. I’m slowly scanning these and making them into GIFs as well. This is one of my favorites.

 

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/50282218660
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/50282218660
Sun, 12 May 2013 12:52:45 -0700
gif
gifs
WWI History
wwi
wwi photos
Black and White
Cannons
scans
stereographic
stereograph








Before I move on with scanning the pages, I’m scanning a bunch of negatives so I can better find them in the album. Here are a couple I found that were from the last page I scanned. The negatives are in great condition, and unlike the paper prints haven’t faded at all or even really been viewed in ages.

 

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49798190292
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49798190292
Mon, 06 May 2013 13:59:00 -0700
wwi
WWI History
wwi photos
Black and White
photography
Page 2
walter koessler
negative
scans






















Page 2.

 

Here we start seeing a little more preparation. This page has the first shot from inside a trench. They’re getting ready to go somewhere here, lining up the horses. Just look at how many people have to push that cannon around!

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49445001972
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49445001972
Thu, 02 May 2013 10:00:05 -0700
history
WWI History
wwi photos
photography
black and white
page 2
world war i
world war one
Cannons
trenches
landscape









Close up of Walter.


Walter carrying some ammunition, possibly?








Men washing in a trough





Page 1.

 

On the left is Walter Koessler, my great grandfather. This is printed on some kind of board and pasted into the book, so it can’t be easily removed and scanned. This photo appears to be taken at home, before he left for war. I like the little spots on his coat where the raindrops have hit it. I don’t know much about German uniforms, perhaps someone can help out there. Handsome, isn’t he!

The remaining photos I’ve scanned from the book. I haven’t had time to sort all the negatives to match their pages yet just because there are so many, so some of these may have better images when I find their negatives. All the photos in the album appear to be contact prints from the negatives. These are about an inch and a half by two inches in size (4x5.5cm), a common size for the album.

First, we see Walter again, carrying a tube of some sort. This is also the first photo showing his place in the army: Walter was in the reserve artillery battalion. You can see a small stack of ammunition off to the left, and a cannon in the background. Smoky back there, I wonder if they had just been firing.

The remaining images are also probably early in his training or before leaving home. A few houses, men washing in a trough, and a field. The back of one of the images marks these as taken in 1914, with some other markings that don’t mean much to me.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49272870638
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49272870638
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 12:00:00 -0700
photography
history
wwi
world war one
world war i
cannons
military
uniform
walter koessler
page 1








As I was getting ready to leave home after Thanksgiving, almost two years ago, my mom said she had something to show me. She pulled out a big black photo album from under our coffee table, casually laid it out in front of me, and blindsided me with the most meaningful, wonderful project I have ever undertaken.

 

This is my great-grandfather Walter Koessler’s photo album from when he was an officer throughout all four years of World War One. It’s incredible for many reasons:

  1. Walter was German, and he was an independent photographer. Most surviving photos from the war are from the Allies, and they tend to be propaganda or journalistic. Walter’s photos are very personal.
  2. Walter was trained as an architect. When he left Germany after the war, he moved to Los Angeles and became an art director for some of the first talkie films. His photos are beautifully composed and well-shot.
  3. Photography was going through big changes at the time, and Walter was a major early adopter. Film cameras were fairly new, and he took his in the trenches and everywhere else. WWI saw the first major use of airplanes in war, and Walter took aerial reconnaissance photos from biplanes and hot air balloons. Stereographs were also becoming more readily available at the time, and Walter made his own 3D images of life in the war.
  4. Since Walter moved to Los Angeles so soon after the war, he preserved pretty much everything. The album was made in Los Angeles, and it’s about a hundred pages long, with over 700 photos in it. Since then, the album has been tucked away in Southern California, so it has no mold and has hardly faded at all.

As soon as I saw this, I knew I needed to research it carefully and share it with the world. For the most part, there are no captions for the photos, so that research has been a big challenge. I’ve gone through the album many times, interviewed family members, reached out to people online, and visited one of the places in the album.

My family has also saved a box of about a hundred more stereographs that show WWI in 3D. I’ve since found that my grandma saved hundreds of the original negatives from both the album and the stereographs, and they’re practically pristine. It’s a formidable, and frankly somewhat intimidating collection. Nearly a hundred years later, it seems almost impossible that these things have been kept in such great condition, and I’m so grateful my family has let me take charge of it.

Finally, I think I’m prepared to start the process of scanning and sharing them here. I hope you’ll find it as fascinating as I do.

 

 

 
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49263773915
http://wwiphotos.tumblr.com/post/49263773915
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:07:00 -0700
world war one
wwi
history
wwi history
photography
gif
gifs


 

WHAT'S NEW

UK travellers should ensure that they hold a valid EHIC (EU Health card) in addition to their own health insurance



CLICK on the boxes below for full tour details.


Peace of mind financial security with Travel Trust Association Membership


We accept debit & credit cards CLICK HERE

       Many of our guides are badged


Follow us on  FACEBOOK

Follow us on TWITTER

Latest Activity

Spirit of Remembrance posted a page
Jul 30
Spirit of Remembrance posted a page
May 3
Spirit of Remembrance posted a page
Aug 30, 2017
Chaplain (Major) Jenniffer Jack posted a photo

Chaplain (MAJ) Jack

At a recent ceremony
Feb 10, 2017

Sign up for news & updates











* Required

© 2018   Created by Spirit of Remembrance.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Google+