Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Early 1900s Cantiniere wagons.

 Thomas Cardoza's excellent site and his book Intrepid Women: Cantinières and Vivandières of the French Army document the the history of French Cantinieres up to World War One. He records the final years of the cantinieres and the increasing regulations making it hard for women to make a living as cantinieres. The wagon style and size used by these women was regulated and thanks to early 1900s postcards, we can see these wagons and the staff attached to to the cantinere when the army was on maneuvers. You can also see the lack of the cantiniere costume in these photos. I found these cards on various on-line auction sites.


  1. What a fabulous resource, thanks for sharing Scott.

  2. Some amazing images there. In many cases those are substantial operations on display. Scott, do you know if at some point the role of the cantiniere was subsumed in a more formal organization in the French military, similar to Britain's Navy, Army, Air Force Institutes (NAAFI)?

  3. I'm going from Cardoza's book that the Cantiniere role was gone in the French army by WW One but there are late 1910/early 1920s images, mostly postcards, of post canteens with civilian women bar keepers. Cardoza suggests that the elimination of cantinieres from French regiments made life tougher during WW One because such food drink and comfort services for troops were absent.