Mapping and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) nerds will geek out over this post! Typically I post photographic material related to the service history of US soldiers during WWI and WWII with occasional dalliances into the Civil War and Korean War. In this instance I’m posting an advertising card brought back by a WWI US soldier after the end of hostilities and occupation duties in WWI.
Europeans entrepreneurs quickly adapted to the new influx of comparatively cash-heavy US troops during the War and after hostilities ended in November of 1918. Photo studios, souvenir shops, tour groups, brothels, theaters and bars/restaurants all flourished in the subsequent years. In this case, I’m presenting a card describing the exact location of a seemingly popular soldier bar in the coastal city of Nice. Many Allied (as well as Central Powers) soldiers took their vacations here, and this card is an example of the type of handheld ephemera that was given out in hopes of luring US soldiers into obscure bars. We encounter the same material today when visiting major US cities.
The interesting aspect, for me, of the card is the fact that the obverse side shows a quick (albeit deceiving) map directing prospective clients to the club. I’m a huge fan of historic maps, especially obscure and ephemeral maps from a specific historic context. I compared the Jake a Loo’s map to a current set of maps and tracked down the current location of the bar! 16 Rue Halevy is still a bar and restaraunt, likely serving up similar victuals to the ones our unknown doughboy consumed nearly 100 years ago. The location is snugly situated on a major intersection in Nice and currently specializes in pizza. Please see below for a current street shot of the location: