Throughout World War I, an important part of any soldier’s pack was his toilet kit.
Sometimes referred to simply as a “soldier’s kit,” these were lightweight bundles used to carry razors, soap, pins, and more. They were typically made from a lightweight cloth or were a small metal box like the one pictured here.
This kit, which belonged to a soldier from Salem, believed to be from the Preas family, has a hair brush attached to the lid of the box and a toothbrush.
His kit carried more than just his necessities, however. He also kept pictures of his mother and sister with him throughout his service in the War. Accompanying the photos are the dates he served, from Oct. 12, 1917 to June 1, 1919.
You can see this World War I toilet kit on display this weekend as part of the Salem Museum’s Hands-On History Saturday program.
This month, visit the Museum to see items from World War I. On Saturdays, visitors can pull on a glove and touch a piece of history with their own hand. In November, Hands-On History is sponsored by the Ray and Nina Byrd Family. Salem Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and located at 801 E. Main Street.