This is what Chicago looked like when my grandfather William Preston Williams joined the Navy in 1917. He was just 18 years old with visions of being a War Hero. Like so many boy's from the Lost Generation he imagined the war would quickly end and he'd return unscathed by the ravages of battle - only to be greatly disillusioned with a broken spirit.
This is what was going on in the Maybelline Family at the same time. Tom Lyle introduced Maybelline to the public as Silent Film became popular and Silent Film Stars were seen on screen with heavily made up eyes.
Theda Bara "THE VAMP" - 1917. This is what was going on in Hollywood when WW1 broke out. Women began to be conscious of the their eyes and buy Maybelline. An interesting fact - Maybelline was sent in an unmarked package insuring the buyer her privacy since Maybelline was so frowned upon at the time.
Screen from the Silent Film WINGS. This is what Preston was heading into. He was a rear gunner on one of those Flying Sticks in the sky.
Preston was leaving his family to go fight the enemy, an enemy he and so many young American boys thought would be easy to destroy. It was far from easy, and Preston came home with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, never to be the same again. Here he is with his little sister Eva on the left, Frances Allen, Tom Lyle Williams Noel James Williams and Bennie Gibbs.
Mabel Williams on the left with her brother Preston, Helen, one of the first Maybelline models, Frances Allen Williams, Bennie Gibbs and Tom Lyle Williams in front of his new "PAGE "Convertible in Chicago.
Tom Lyle enlisted as well but was denyed service because he was the sole supporter of his entire family according to his draft card in 1917. Noel was married to Frances and also supported the family managing the Maybelline Company. He might have been too old for service at the time.
If you have read The Maybelline Story these pictures will enhance the visual for you. If you haven't purchased a signed copy yet just click on maybellinestory.com and one will be mailed to you directly. I will continue with WWll Maybelline family Veterans tomorrow. Stay tune for more wonderful pictures and stories.