By Bonnie Gordon
Title: Arthur J. Putnam Collection, ca. 1917-1925
Creator: Putnam, Arthur J. (1893-1966)
Extent: 0.25 Cubic Feet. More info below.
Arrangement: The Arthur J. Putnam Collection is arranged alphabetically by genre.
Arthur J. Putnam (1893-1966) served as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service (AFS) and United States Army Ambulance Service (USAAS) during World War I. The Arthur J. Putnam Collection includes photographs, official service documents, personal correspondence, newspaper clippings, art prints, and other items relating to his experience with AFS and the USAAS during and shortly after the war.
The Arthur J. Putnam Collection includes photographs, official service documents, personal correspondence, newspaper clippings, art prints, and other items relating to his experience with the American Field Service (AFS) and United States Army Ambulance Service (USAAS) during World War I.
The collection includes thirteenphotographs of Putnam and others serving in World War I, including several pictures of Putnam with French friends as well as fellow ambulance drivers in the AFS and USAAS. These men include Walter Winthrop Gores (Sous Chef of SSU 70), Louis Sicard (SSU 636), A. P. Andrew (founder of the AFS) speaking with a group of French officers, members of the Polish Legion in the French Army, and recuperating poilus (French infantrymen) at a base hospital. Additionally, the collection includes five souvenir photographic reproductions of Kaiser Wilhelm, the German Crown Prince, and Paul von Hindenburg.
The collection also includes official service documents , including a citation from the 38th French Division of Infantry dated October 1917 to Lt. Putnam, Commander of SSU 70, for courage under fire in the evacuation of wounded in a highly exposed area, and a letter presenting Putnam with the American Field Service Medal (dated January 3, 1919.) There is also a letter of thanks from Petain to all men of the Automobile Service of the French Army for their outstanding efforts from March to July 1918, as well as Captain Putnam’s discharge order from the USAAS, dated April 14, 1919.
Unofficial documents and records include four letters written in French from Putnam’s French comrades (including the Director of Health Services of the French 7th Military Region from 1925, and Captain Aubrun, dated 1919) sent to him after the war, as well as newsprint photographs of the Cornell University American Field Service unit ready to embark for France in April 1917, two issues of an AFS SSU 69 publication (Soixante-Neuf), and a menu parody from SSU 26.
Additional materials include several reproductions of art prints by an unknown artist ( which depict scenes involving AFS ambulance drivers and others in France), as well as a postcard depicting a drawing of French statesman Georges Clemenceau, an undated map of transatlantic boat routes, and an undated French piece of writing in verse relating to serving as an ambulance driver in France.
Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research. Cotton gloves are required for the handling of all photographic material. All photographs (other than the souvenir images) are available in digital format.
Use Restrictions: Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Archives. In the event that this research becomes a source for publication, a credit line indicating the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs is required. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.
Acquisition Method: This art prints in this collection were donated to the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives) by Arthur J. Putnam at an unknown date. The remainder of the collection was presumably donated by Putnam at an unknown date.
Appraisal Information: No items were deaccessioned, separated, or removed from the collection.
Related Materials: For more information about Section Sanitaire [États-] Unis (SSU) 18, SSU 19, and SSU 70, consult the American Field Service World War I Records (RG1/001) and the American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection (RG1/002) in the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs.
Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [Date]; Arthur J. Putnam Collection; Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs, New York, NY.
Processing Information: This collection was processed by Bonnie Gordon in 2013. Finding aid written by Bonnie Gordon in March 2013.