In both World Wars I and II, soldiers took whatever junk they had on hand to make trivial and meaningful, tacky and classy works of so-called "trench art". These hand-made souvenirs were not just produced in the trenches. They were crafted by soldiers anywhere in their theater of operations as expressions of their experiences and aspirations. Trench art was made from spent brass artillery casings, ammunition, pieces of leather, wood from blown-up buildings, and even bark. These facsimiles of weapons, tanks, aircraft, and ships along with gadgets, artistry, and satire each represents a piece of GI Junk skillfully reshaped into one man's historical treasure. (This exhibit is divided into two smaller exhibits displayed in the WWI and WWII sections of WWHAM.)

GI Junk - Trench Periscopes

Relics from the Trenches of WWI

Trench periscopes, field artillery shells, and other relics from WWI

GI Junk - Trench Art

Trench Art

Examples of trench art from WWI

GI Junk - Helmets, Medical Gear

Helmets, Medical Gear

Helmets, medical gear, and other relics from WWI

GI Junk - Ship Models

Ship Models and Boxes

Trench art ship models and carved boxes from WWII

GI Junk - Pistols and Aircraft

Pistols and Aircraft from WWII

Trench art pistols and aircraft from WWII

GI Junk - Field artillery shells

Field Artillery Shells from WWI

French, American, British, and German field artillery shells from WWI

GI Junk - Coverlet from WWI

Trench art coverlet

Trench art coverlet embroidered by 31 wounded soldiers of the British Commonwealth during WWI

GI Junk - Trench Art Artillery Casings from WWI

Trench Art Artillery Casings from WWI

Hammered, embossed, and engraved trench art from artillery casings of WWI