“Jackson & the Great War” Exhibit at Ella Sharp Museum

"Jackson & the Great War", an exhibit at Ella Sharp Museum, is open now through August 24, 2018. The exhibit commemorates the Centennial Anniversary of the US involvement in WWI. The exhibit features letters, uniforms, a Sparton gas alarm, helmets, and other artifacts from the Ella Sharp Museum permanent collection.

Featured objects on display in the Jackson & the Great War exhibition:                           

  • Sparks Withington Gas Alarm Horn


Ella Sharp Museum Permanent Collection

Once the US joined the war, companies across the country began manufacturing equipment and products to aid the war effort. The Sparks-Withington Company which was already filling contracts for helmets and shin guards began producing gas alarm horns.

These hand-cranked horns warned soldiers of chemical gas attacks by emitting a loud distinctive noise.

Visit the museum to hear what the gas alarm sounds like!


  • Dress, ca. 1915

Ella Sharp Museum Permanent Collection


Women of Jackson Economize
Jackson women formed The League for Simpler Living in April of 1917. The group resolved to buy no afternoon or evening wear until the war was over. They agreed to buy only necessary clothing and those must be as simple and inexpensive as possible. The women wore badges that would "add prestige to even the simplest dress" Money saved was sent to French, Belgian or American war orphans as the need dictated.





  • US M-1917 Helmet


Sparks-Withington was one of several American companies contracted to help in the production of US M-1917 Helmets.

Sparks-Withington stamped and shaped the steel into a bowl shape. Helmets were then sent to the Ford Motor Company in Pennsylvania to be painted and assembled.

By the end of production, in 1918, Sparks-Withington had stamped and shaped 473,469 M-1917 Helmets.


  • Diary, ca. 1918

Ella Sharp Museum Permanent Collection

Clive Redinger was enlisted in the Hospital Corps and served in France. His diary described the grim reality of his day to day life.

Diary Entries:


"Dressed so many wounds they haven’t left (sic) my dreams. Ugly wounds, amputations, stumps, trench feet, and gangrene till I dream I have them all, took in 15 more sick today."    


"More flu and still more. The states never did seem so far away. I fear for some of my patients if we don’t get there soon."



Learn more about the Great War and Jackson’s role with Director of External Affairs, Michelle McClellan. These events are free and open to the public. 

American Women and the Great War

Tuesday, June 26  | 5:30 p.m.

Ella Sharp Museum


Quarantine: The 1918 Flu Epidemic

Tuesday, July 24 | 5:30 p.m.

Ella Sharp Museum

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