When Army Surplus was King of the Campground

From Goldwyn’s Army Store – Detroit Michigan 1927

Jumbo tent $4.75!

Campaign Furniture in the Wild

There’s not much point to this post other than I like historic images and found some great camp photos from the 1920s.  These are mostly Roy Chapman Andrews in Mongolia, 1925-1928 from the American Museum of Natural History collections.  A fun collection to peruse.  Andrews is a remarkable person in his own right as a man who worked his way up from janitor to director of the AMNH.  Much of his scientific fame comes from some accidental finds of dinosaurs while looking for evidence of human origins in China and Mongolia.

RCAElephant CampA proper campaign hat and casual camp shoes while sitting at the campaign table.  The ubiquitous large tent provides daytime relief from the sun.  This environment (Gobi desert of Mongolia) is similar to the American Southern High Plains of west Texas and eastern New Mexico.  Note the rifles leaning against the folding chair in the background.  I’m sure we were taught as Boy Scouts to not do that!

roy-chapman-andrews-birthday-image-1-26Clothing of the adventurer.  Andrews is thought by some to be the image of the field scientist that created Indiana Jones for the Hollywood crowd.  Safari shirt and tall riding boots while he speaks to the wool-clad tribesman on an awesome camel.

WritingAgain, the spacious tent used as a field office while the Victrola plays away. At least the rifles are securely tied to a post this time.

VictrolaAndrews, Shakelton,  and the gang sitting round the record player.  They traveled in style in the 20s.EvereadyFlashlightOutfitted Dodge truck and camel for venturing out into the wild.  In this image, the local guide is being shown the new Eveready flashlights.  I think it’s time to raise the bar on my camp furniture.


Sibley Tent, an Early Review

DCF 1.0

The Sibley tent.

A tent has been invented by Major H. H. Sibley, of the army, which is known as the “Sibley tent.” It is somewhat similar to the Comanche lodge, but in place of the conical frame-work of poles it has but one upright standard, resting upon an iron tripod in the centre. The tripod can be used to suspend cooking utensils over the fire, and, when folded up, admits the wooden standard between the legs, thereby reducing the length one half, and making it more convenient for packing and traveling.

This tent constituted the entire shelter of the army in Utah during the winter of 1857-8, and, notwithstanding the severity of the climate in the elevated locality of Camp Scott, the troops were quite comfortable, and pleased with the tent.

In permanent camps the Sibley tent may be so pitched as to give more room by erecting a tripod upon the outside with three poles high and stout enough to admit of the tent’s being suspended by ropes attached to the apex. This method dispenses with the necessity of the central upright standard.

When the weather is very cold, the tent may be made warmer by excavating a basement about three feet deep, which also gives a wall to the tent, making it more roomy.

The tent used in the army will shelter comfortably twelve men.

Captain G. Rhodes, of the English army, in his recent work upon tents and tent-life, has given a description of most of the tents used in the different armies in Europe, but, in my judgment, none of them, in point of convenience, comfort, and economy, will compare with the Sibley tent for campaigning in cold weather. One of its most important features, that of admitting of a fire within it and of causing a draught by the disposition of the wings, is not, that I am aware, possessed by any other tent. Moreover, it is exempt from the objections that are urged against some other tents on account of insalubrity from want of top ventilation to carry off the impure air during the night.

Randolph Barnes Marcy, The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions, with Maps, Illustrations, and Itineraries of the Principal Routes between the Mississippi and the Pacific, 1859.