Book review: ‘US Naval Academy in Postcards’

In times like these, books dealing with the military are especially treasured, but a book that also will appeal to a large number of deltiologists is doubly important. This book, “The U.S. Naval Academy in Postcards, 1900-1930,” includes 476 postcards from Annapolis. With coated pages that add luster to them, it is truly a work of art. This book reproduces the postcards beautifully.

The author, Randall W. Bannister, is a 1977 graduate and retired as a captain after a 28-year career in the Navy. In addition to the extensive collection of pictures, Bannister offers a concise narrative concerning the various scenes. There is also a brief history of the Academy, filled with names such as Nimitz, Halsey, and King.

A very significant chapter is devoted to the reinterment of the founder of the Navy, John Paul Jones. Captain Bannister offers a great deal of trivia with respect to the history and evolution of naval lore. For example, he shows a picture of something called the bilger gate. This is one of the exit gates and the one used solely by those who are dismissed from the Academy, called bilgers from the descriptive word “bilge.” It was interesting to see the Lover’s Lane and some of the comments concerning a path not intimately associated with the military. ?

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