Original WWI Wooden AEF Trench Periscope in Excellent Aesthetic and Working Condition
Not a reproduction, this Periscope was used by a Doughboy in the War To End All Wars to look across no mans land at the Hun charging, bayonets fixed, the trenches of Reims, Verdun or The Marne. It is in nearly perfect working order, with the only slight flaw being some subtle crazing of the backing of one of the two mirrors. -This does not, however, impair it’s view noticeably. It still has its original positioning stick with wing nut and belt hook. I’m not sure of the exact provenience of this piece, but I never shy away from sound speculation: I found this periscope in an estate sale that had a number of World War 1 & 2 artifacts; not displayed or archived as you would a collection but carefully stored in boxes in the basement, the way one would treat something that was passed down generationally. Of course, these periscopes were originally issued with olive drab paint. The widespread use of jungle patterned camouflage by the U.S. Military didn’t really begin until 1942 in the Pacific theater. What I would hazard to guess is that this piece was either passed down to a second generation veteran who served in the Marine Corps in WWII by an older family member who served in either the Army or Marines in WW1……….or it was carried by it’s original “Lifer” owner (there were Marine Master Sergeant stripes in the box as well) when he entered his second World War of that century. I guess that would make these half original issue and half trench art. Either way the paint was nicely done and, in my opinion, ads to interest of the piece.
This periscope will make an excellent shelf piece and addition to any military collection.