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THE NAVY ON SHORE
AT WORK IN GUN-SHOPS AND NAVY-YARDS
Drawings made on the spot by
VERNON HOWE BAILEY*
Authorized by the U. S. Government. Passed by the Naval Censor and the Committee on Public Information
WITH the country at war, great steelmills and ammunition plants are turning out armor-plate, firearms, shells, and explosives, and the government is rushing work for the support of its two chief arms of service. The unusual condition of war seemed to present a rare opportunity for picture subjects, and I wished to see and sketch something of this work for the government that is going on behind barred gates and heavily guarded walls.
As I had been arrested as an enemy suspect for making a sketch of a simple street scene in New York, I could not but wonder what would befall me should I express a wish to see the inner workings of government plants. Comparatively, this seemed a grave offense, so I started for Washington. To Mr. George Creel, chairman of the Committee on Public Information, I applied for the necessary permission. Mr. Creel took a broad view of the matter, as did Secretary of the Navy Daniels, whom I met through him. Mr. Daniels said that he was glad to have the public know what the navy was doing, and saw no objection to permitting me to make drawings.
The letters with which Secretary Daniels favored me were addressed to the commandants of various navv-vards and
asked that they permit me to sketch all such operations as they deemed proper.
"No cameras allowed" was the sign that greeted me on my arrival at a navy-yard gate, but, reflecting that I was neither a camera nor a photographer, I took heart. Here I was struck by the thoroughness of the guard arrangements. Marine guards and plain-clothes men intercepted every arrival and investigated every package lest it contain a possible infernal machine. To the guard officer at the gate each day I made long explanations, and finally, under escort of an armed guard, would be taken to the shop where my subject was and turned over to its head, who accepted responsibility for me. Getting out of the yard was quite as difficult as getting in.
Everything is on the move, and picture compositions make and unmake themselves in a moment's time. Observing, one evening, the splendid pictorial arrangement of a destroyer in dry dock and a great battleship nearing completion near by, I arrived early next morning to draw it, and found the dock empty and learned that the destroyer was at sea.
Every one is efficiently active, and the navy on shore will see to it that the navy at sea is backed up in every,particular.
* Mr. Bailey is the first artist to_ be accorded the privilege by the government of making drawings of government plants since war was declared. The drawings are the first to have been presented for action before the Naval Censor and the Committee on Public Information and passed by them, and to have been stamped with the official seal.
Copyright, 1917, by Charles Scribner's Sons. All rights reserved.
The stern of a great German liner, showing the magnitude of her stern post, rudder, and propellers.
Putting her into dry dock was an engineering /eat, as the shi/ was actually longer than the dork, but the construction ef the dry-dock gate provided a/erlures between its braces, into one of which the /rejectingend of the stem fiece fitted mugiy, leartng a clearance ttf only a feu- inches.