Sweet land of liberty

Arthur S. Mole was a British-born commercial photographer who worked in Zion, Illinois. During and after World War I, Mole and his partner John D. Thomas traveled from one military camp to another, posing thousands of soldiers to form gigantic patriotic symbols that they then photographed from above. Mole and Thomas would spend a week or longer preparing for these massive works, which they photographed from a high tower using an 11 x 14 inch view camera.

Mole and Thomas’s Human Statue of Liberty, involving 18,000 uniformed service men, was formed and photographed on the parade grounds at Camp Dodge, Iowa, in July of 1918.

Their Human Liberty Bell was made up of more than 25,000 service men at Camp Dix in New Jersey.

The Human American Eagle was photographed at Camp Gordon in Atlanta, Georgia, and involved 12,500 service men and women.

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