Coblenz: G-2-C, Third Army, 1919. First Edition. Pamphlet program, 8” x 5.5”; single-stapled gathering, 28pp. Four-color printed covers by A.P. Ascherl, who would work in New York advertising after the war at the George Batten Company, Inc.—which would become, a couple generations later, BBDO.
Evenly tanned, central vertical soft crease—probably from a 1919 attendee putting it in a pocket. Neat and complete.
“Carnival” is used here with the general sense of exceptional celebratory gathering. “Exposition” or “jamboree” might be closer to current usage for this post-WWI assembly, celebrating and solidifying the formation of the new Third Army created by General Pershing to serve as the occupying force after Germany’s defeat. The elaborate four-day event, held on a dedicated island in the Rhine, included a horse show, motor show, aviation show, track and field meet, and more. This program lists committee, sub-committee, and judging officials, and gives the day-by-day schedule with rules for judging the competitions.
From an attendee’s account: “We arrived in Coblenz on Thursday evening. All schools were closed on Thursday and Friday of this week on account of the Third Army Carnival held at Coblenz on an island in the Rhine River. It was advertised, American fashion, throughout the Third Army as well as a State Fair in the homeland. Interest was high and competition was keen. Army corps was pitted against army corps, division against division, group against group. An army officer who rode in the finals for jumping the hurdles said that he had been in the horse shows of New York City, but he had never seen such keen competition among horsemen as in this Third Army Carnival. Teams of horses were shown hitched to ambulance wagons, to ammunition wagons, to field artillery. A balloon company operated the great sausage balloon, sending up with it observers to a height of 1,000 feet and hauling it down. Airplanes of many types were displayed and explained to the observers. Airplanes were constantly in the air within view of the exhibition grounds. The thousands of spectators were American soldiers representing every unit of the Third Army. Many had come from France.”.