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Great War in the First State display at public archives

Nick Ciolino/Delaware Public Media
Trench Art

The Delaware Public Archives opened its Great War in The First State exhibition this week—honoring the contributions made by Delawareans during World War I.

It’s the centennial anniversary of World War I. On display for public viewing at the Delaware Public Archives is a 22-piece silver dining set presented to the USS Delaware destroyer in 1910, along with the bell and the nameplate from the vessel.

“Which was part of a tradition that battleships were presented. This was by subscription of Delawareans who actually paid for it and presented it to the ship at that time,” said State Archivist Stephen Marz.

Visitors can also view an 85 piece display of trench art—a medium Marz defines as materials ashioned from shell casings and armaments and bullets into various nouveau art types of materials.

“They were made into vases and ashtrays and all types of decorative materials,” said Marz.

Liberty war bond posters, government documents and industry war contribution materials are also on display—with the song “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” playing in the background.

Marz says the bow of the U-S-S Delaware will soon join the display. These artifacts are all free to view at the Delaware Public archives.

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