Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Wonderful Find

This past Sunday I made a wonderful find. Dragonhead Distributors, a hobby shop near Allentown, was moving into a smaller location. This meant that stock that had not sold well was going into storage. As a WWI gamer (all forces and theaters) and amateur historian I saw a box of aviation magazines.

Old aviation magazines. These gems went back to the 1960s, a time that was better connected to The Great War than now. I pulled out five that were in good condition and talked to Steve and found he was happy not to put them into storage.

So with the Internet, why am I interested in magazines were the most recent issue was from 1990. The funny thing with this niche is how much information out there is still in type written page and maps drawn by hand.

Here are 4 reasons to seek out these precious resources.
  • First off the photographs often are from private collections and not available to the public, at least recently. Remember if they were not converted into digital format, they are not on the Internet.
  • Second, are the personal journals that make up a large part of these issues. In one magazine there is a piece about an observer that fought on the East Front. Another deals with the 17th Aero Squadron. Information that can be hard to come by considering these are first person accounts.
  • While all of these magazines are in black and white, each has articles on aircraft colors and markings. One of my favorites is an American polka doted aircraft that looked like an Easter Egg.
  • Lastly there is the stray facts. The renumbering of two-seater squadrons. Aces trading cards from gum packs. Unit mascots are shown next to the aircraft. And than there are the maps, oh the maps. Great for campaigns, research or just to peruse.
So keep and eye out for these gems. And let us know what you find.

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