Object ID
Object Name
Object Collection
Date Created
1917 – 1918
black and white photograph
Object Entities
Phillos, George (owned by)
Secaras, John (collected by)
Object Description
Full-length portrait of a young man in a World War I Army cavalry uniform.

This sepia-toned portrait features a young man standing centered in front of a decorative backdrop which subtly depicts trees and a winding path leading somewhere far off in the distance.  He is in full uniform.  He is wearing a campaign hat which has a tall round dimpled crown and wide brim that goes around the entire circumference.  His jacket is buttoned tightly and falls below the hips.  It has a mandarin collar and 4 large pockets with button down flaps.  His trousers, or jodhpurs, are darker than his jacket.  They are baggy at the hips and taper down quickly, becoming fitted at the knees and ankle.  He is also wearing light-colored canvas leggings laced tightly around his calves, and leather Pershing trench boots.

The young man stands angled slightly away from the camera, hands clasped behind his back, heels together and toes apart. His head is tilted slightly to the left and he is looking up and to the right.

The photograph is printed on an unused postcard.
George Phillos was born in 1893 in Greece. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I, and afterward joined the American Legion. U.S. Army uniforms changed quite a bit over the 20th century. By 1917, the importance of camoflage was recognized, and the Army issued uniforms in khaki or olive drab. In this photograph, Phillos is wearing a standard-issue Army jacket, tapered trousers with outer side buttons down the lower half of each leg, ankle boots, and canvas puttees. The bronze insignias of his regiment and service company can be seen on either side of his jacket collar. He is also wearing a "Montana peak" campaign hat. According to the 1940 Census, he lived at that time with his sister and brother-in-law, Harry and Catherine Secaras and their children John and Helen in Chicago. George Phillos' nephew, John Secaras, donated this photograph to the National Hellenic Museum along with his Army uniform. Photograph postcards were invented by Kodak in 1903. The No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak camera was designed for postcard-size film and allowed people to take photographs and have them printed on postcard backs. In 1907, Kodak created a service called “Real Photo postcards” enabling people to make a postcard from any picture they took. That same year the U.S. Postal Service began allowing written messages on the back of penny postcards in addition to the address. This postcard has space for "correspondence" and "address" on the back. Later, a vertical line was added splitting postcard backs in half, with space for the message on the left and the address on the right. "Real Photo" postcards soared in popularity in America, and many people began collecting the cards in albums. No other format has provided such a massive photo history of America, particularly small-town and rural America where photography was often a luxury.
Rights and Reproduction
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Any other use, such as exhibition, publication, or commercial use, is not allowed except by written permission in accordance with the NHM Image Rights and Reproduction Policy.

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Photograph, 1917 – 1918, George Phillos Photograph Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/4698. Accessed 03/23/23.