Walter Koessler 1914-1918 – WWI photo book is one of the top-selling publishing Kickstarter projects of all time
Walter Koessler 1914-1918: The personal photo journal of a German officer in World War I
by Dean Putney
2013, 140 pages, 17 x 11 x 1 inches
$78 Buy a copy on Amazon
Dean Putney is Boing Boing and Cool Tools software developer. His great-grandfather, Walter Koessler, was an officer in the German army during World War I. A gifted artist and photographer (he was drafted into the army in 1914 when he was studying architecture), Walter carried a camera with him everywhere he went, taking pictures of daily life in the German army. He even went into hot air balloons to capture the destruction of bombed-out German towns.
These photos do not show dead or wounded soldiers. Instead, they show young men working and relaxing in trenches, self-assured pilots, military parades, the hauling of equipment. They offer a fascinating glimpse of a way of life 100 years ago, making it seem like today.
Dean decided to share Walter’s photo book with the world. He launched a hugely successful Kickstarter to self publish it, and gave himself a crash course in book publishing. His hard work paid off. The result is a stunningly handsome, very large-format book, with 670 photos and many interesting anecdotes written by Dean about his great grandfather. — Mark Frauenfelder