Thursday, May 16, 2024

Estonian Recruits, Part 1 - Bush

Today we have a triple feature showing off those interwar period Estonian military recruits.  Part one features bushy types, part two mixed bush and low hangers, and part three just low hangers.  We also get a few happy trails along the way.



  1. Well when you’re a small country like Estonia and wedged between Stalin’s Russia and in later times Hitler’s Germany you don’t have much choice.:(
    And today the threat is Putin’s neo-communist/oligarchic Russia and some Americans who crave a warped dictatorship of grievances.
    Leave it to Estonia and the other Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden to take Putins threats to Europe seriously and support Ukraine. The superpowers could learn a thing or two from the small countries of the world….:)

  2. I ended up downloading all those images some time ago (took forever). Had done some statistics on foreskin length/circ status on them. In that research, there is no information available on the subjects. But it was an anthropomorphic study, with rumours it was looking at head shapes/sizes. (the one on the shoulders).
    What is known is they were done on glass plates, not film, and this explains why photos after the initial first few include 2 people in each in order to reduce the number of plates to prepare and process. Also remember that exposures were long back then, some images are not perfectly clear if the subjects were not standing perfectly still.
    Exccept for initial batch, almost, but not all, subjects have military style very short haircuts. "film" emulsions back then were not evenly sensitive to all colours, so this may exagerate contrast between tanned and untanned areas if the emulsion was not as sensitive to red for instance.
    What is surprising is that the Estonian museum who inherited the glass plates and went through the trouble of scanning them has no information on that project in the early part of 1900s (likely before 1930 when glass plates started to be phased out in favour of much simpler film - glass plates had to be prepared in the dark shortly before the photo session and processed shortly after the photo was taken).

    1. The glass plate thing has puzzled a lot or researchers concerning the date of these images. One believable account I read said that the Estonians continued to use that process long after it was considered obsolete. Based on that snd some stray details, he made a good case for the 1930s as the time frame. In any case, I consider these to be a treasure.