New exhibit: “Now far from home”: the ending of the Great War in Popular Imagination and Culture”

  • Author: Michael Foight
  • Published: October 4, 2018

Now on display from October 4, 2018 through February 20th, 2019, on the 1st floor of Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University, the exhibit “Now far from home”: the ending of the Great War in Popular Imagination and Culture tells the story of American involvement in World War I and the ending of the war, curated by Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement, with curatorial and installation support from Laura Bang, Allison Floray, and Demian Katz, and graphic support by Joanne Quinn.

On Monday, November 12 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner, proximate to the exhibit location, the library will host an event, “Now Far From Home: Exhibit Launch and the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice Ending the Great War.” Foight, will give a brief overview of the new exhibit, which features photographs, photo albums, newspapers, games, scrapbooks, paper toys and other rare remembrances and artifacts from the Great War time period. This event, which is sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Mail Call podcast, Episode 9

  • Author: Laura Bang
  • Published: March 16, 2018

Episode 9 of the Mail Call podcast brings to life a selection of wartime correspondence. Mail Call is also available through iTunes/Apple Podcasts.

A Modern Battle Portrayed in Miniature

  • Author: Michael Foight
  • Published: January 29, 2018

Broadside, “A Modern Battle Portrayed in Miniature”, 1920.














One family side show, The Millers Mechanical Shows, founded by John E. Miller and son Clifford M. Miller, traveled the United States showing their miniature reenactments, including their first act “Industrial City“, and later, in 1917 as American troops entered combat in Europe, “Battlefield” – a reenactment of World War I. They also documented the other acts that they traveled and performed with and the places that they visited ranging from Jacksonville, Key West, Daytona, and St Augustine in 1917, to Virginia, North Carolina, Wyoming, Colorado, and even Regina, Saskatchewa, Canada. Newly digitized by the Digital Library at Villanova University this rich set of materials documents American circus life, travel and tourism, as well as the Great War!

Photograph, Miller’s Industrial City, [1917?]

A 1923, broadside describes the “Battlefield”, “500 miniature men, standing three and one-half inches high .. . The aeroplane is driven by its own motor, gaining its power from two collecting rings at top of roof. … The show consists of two Armies in combat on the slopes of two mountains which form a road way‘ through a French village; showing the frowning Forts of the Central Powers; the Allied armies are seen to the left. Both armies have their skirmish lines, first. Second and third line reserve trenches. The German soldiers have a gun that actually loads a shell every two minutes, a prison camp and inmates, gun repair shop, deserted coal mine … sentry on duty, Kaiser Bill and his staff, observation post, wireless aerial, remount station, field batteries, Machine gun nests and pillboxes, hospital. … It works in life movements, taking about forty-five minutes to view the three sides.”



Photograph, Miller’s Mechanical Battlefield











Photograph, John E. Miller holding dog













Ticket, Miller’s Mechanical Battlefield











Other acts included:

Photograph, “Part of R-R-R Russells – Roosterios – Rollickers,” Tullahoma, Tennessee, [1919].

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Last Modified: January 29, 2018