The American Espionage in Siberia Photograph Album documents the secret efforts of the Americans to obtain platinum from Siberia in 1918. The Bolsheviks had cut off American access to platinum, an important metal used to build airplane engines. The U.S. Commerce Department subsequently dispatched George L. Preston, an American fur trader in Riga, to Siberia as an officer of the Red Cross to provide humanitarian supplies to the Czech Legion on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Working secretly beyond his humanitarian mission, Preston sucessfuly obtained a supply of platinum for the United States.
The photograph album contains 81 captioned black-and-white photographs, each measuring 3" x 4". The collection features pictures of George L. Preston, Czech and Siberian soldiers, people of Mongolia, refugees, missionaries, bridges and stations on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Bolshevik prisoners, landscapes, and buildings. The album seems to have been made by a YMCA worker.
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