The New Jersey State Museum preserves objects that document the lives of people who lived in New Jersey from the 17th century to the present, including an array of artifacts relating to the first World War. The World War I collection consists of more than 80 Liberty Loan, Red Cross, Food Administration, and recruitment posters that were designed and printed as propaganda to inspire American commitment to the cause of war. Additionally, the collection includes assorted personal items from the World War I era including uniforms, equipment, medals, war souvenirs, and even a bugle that sounded the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918.
The State Museum also serves as the official caretaker of the State of New Jersey’s collection of 192 military flags dating from the 1860s through 1940. Although the majority of these flags are from the Civil War era, the State House Flag Collection also contains nearly 50 flags carried oversees by New Jersey soldiers who served with the 29th and 78th Divisions in World War I. The flags were returned to Trenton after the Armistice at the request of state officials and have been preserved by the State of New Jersey for the past 100 years.
Photos courtesy of the New Jersey State House & State Capitol Joint Management Commission