Black and white photograph depicting Pvt. George Phillos standing in his World War I Army uniform. Phillos is standing in a carpeted room in front of a backdrop wall decorated with tree branches and a path winding into the distance. He is wearing an Army jacket and tapered trousers, canvas leggings (puttees), boots, and a campaign hat. He is at the center of the image, arms are clasped behind his back. He is angled slightly away from the camera, 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.
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Photograph, 1917 – 1918, George Phillos Photograph Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/4698. Accessed 12/02/20.