WW1 Soldiers Leaving Fort Dix in a Dodge Brothers Car

This great National Archives photo is captioned, “Soldiers being mustered out at Camp Dix, New Jersey, 1918,” and the sheer joy captured by the photographer is palpable. Notice also the sidecar in the background, not to mention the unbelievably adorable dog.

Soldiers being mustered out at Camp Dix. New Jersey, 1918. Underwood and Underwood., 1917 – 1919
Courtesy National Archives, identifier no. 165-WW-139C(3)

Much of the automobile is obscured by the bodies of the 16 military men piled on top of it, but if you zoom in on the wheels, they do look like Dodge Brothers caps. That would make sense as the Dodges made many notable contributions to the war effort (see “More on the Dodge Brothers . . . .”). This advertisement, placed in 1918, also touches on some of their achievements:

The second paragraph mentions that the Dodge Brothers organization refrained from making any mention of its activities while the war was in progress. This tone was surely set by the Dodge brothers themselves, Horace and John, who, in addition to being brilliant machinists and manufacturers, were famously tight-lipped. One 1916 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story, “Dodge Brothers Hide Personality Behind Their Car,” reported that getting information from the Dodges was a hopeless task:

Horace positively will not talk. He refers everything to John. And John says, “The public is not interested in us but in what we make. Write about the car if you want to write about something.”

Imagine a time when people just kept their yaps shut.

1917 Dodge Brothers
1916 Dodge Brothers