Camp Devens - Post Exchange, Heating Plant, Army Grub, Camp Guards - WW1 Cantonment
The great joy of the soldier's life is the regimental post exchange. At his company canteen he can buy tobacco, candy or other minor luxuries, but at the exchange he can get anything from a needle to a washtub. Every article which the man in khaki needs or likes is on sale. There are all kinds of food, mostly put up in packages, a variety of cigarettes which would rival that of a city tobacconist, stationery, books, post-cards, toilet articles, ad infinitum.
Probably there has been no matter more widely discussed than that of heat at the cantonment. During the cold days of October, the pipes were not yet ready, and the temperature of the barracks was not very high. At that time there was considerable complaint, principally from the newspapers of the small cities and towns. It is too cold at Ayer, they said.
The heating system once in operation, there soon came to be little cause for complaint. The barracks are cold in the morning because the windows are open at night, but by the time breakfast is over the sleeping rooms are reasonably comfortable. This picture shows one of the heating plants from which the steam is piped to the barracks in the vicinity.
Each morning the supply wagons bring to the kitchen the commodities for which the mess sergeant has requisitioned. One wagon brings bread, another meat, and so on. Here we have one of the kitchen police receiving the allotted amount of meat for his company. The sergeant who accompanies the wagon has just checked off the allowance of that company.
Each regiment has a guard-house, and under ordinary circumstances, a different company is daily assigned to guard duty. One-third of the entire number are always at their posts; the remainder wait at the guard-house until their turn comes for active duty, or until an alarm is sounded. This picture shows two-thirds of the guard of a light field artillery regiment in front of the guard-house.