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Historical Office Accessions Rare WWI Era Photographs

The Historical Office and all lovers of Fort Monmouth and Signal Corps History owe a huge debt of gratitude to two sisters, JoAnn Dunn of the CECOM LCMC G1 and Virginia Liszanckie of PEO C3T, for donating to the Historical Office several hundred, if not thousands, of rare photographs believed to be from WWI-era Fort Monmouth. Fort Monmouth at the time was known as Camp Alfred Vail, a Signal Corps training camp and research and development laboratory.

JoAnn wrote,

“In 1980… I moved into the house on Exchange Place in Long Branch, NJ, that my father, Dominic Strollo, had literally been born in in 1916. In the back of the property, there was a small garage/shed. Upon moving there, I decided to see what was in there and once in, found the collection of wooden cases that you will be receiving plus other boxes of correspondence, negatives, and photographs. At that time, what I learned from my father was that a photographer named Frank Cole had rented the shed from my grandparents for storage after he had lost his business either during or after the Great Depression.”

Cole served as an Army photographer at Fort Monmouth during WWI.

Dunn continued,

“Mr. Cole had long died, no one ever claimed what was stored, and there it stayed until my dad sold the house… At that point, he moved all of the wooden boxes to the garage of his home in Oceanport, NJ, where they have resided to date. … all Ginny and I want to do is to have it be somewhere where it will be appreciated and cared for. It’s an incredible collection. You are very fortunate to also be receiving the file cabinet with all the cards that reference each box, i.e., the identification of what unit was photographed…”

Very fortunate, indeed! Stay tuned as the Historical Office catalogs the collection and investigates the feasibility of making prints of the negatives.

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  1. History Comes to Life in Frank Cole Collection – CECOM Historical Office linked to this post on March 28, 2011
  2. Gregory Smith linked to this post on October 11, 2014

    I love your blog

    I have read this article and enjoyed it