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A collection of British World War I photographs includes one of a soldier using a modified bicycle to generate electricity.

“How the Germans generate electricity for wireless in the trenches.”


How the Germans generate electricity for wireless in the trenches

The caption for this historical photo reads:

The wheels of the bicycle have been removed and it has been adapted to sit on a free-standing frame. According to the original caption, this contraption has been developed to generate electricity. The equipment necessary to convert the pedal power into electrical power is fitted to the rear of the bicycle. This young soldier is providing a demonstration. He is in full uniform and is wearing a steel helmet, and a bag round his neck.

Due to appalling conditions in the trenches, and the frequent absence of proper equipment, soldiers became incredibly resourceful in discovering ways of overcoming particular problems. The contraption shown here is an excellent example of the lengths that some men went to.

The photographer, John Warwick Brooke, was an official photographer sent to the Western Front to follow the progress of the British Army in World War I. He took an estimated 4,000 photos from 1916 to 1918.

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