These 12 historical photos vividly show where the Navy's term "salty" came from

“Salty” is a term from the United States Navy used to describe an experienced sailor – someone for whom the romanticized idea of ship life is gone and replaced with sea salt.

Recently WATM published photos from the 1898 Spanish-American War that were found during a U.S. Navy archive office renovation. One of our readers asked if we could find historical photos of the  U.S. Navy’s saltiest sailors throughout history, so we did.

Check these sea dogs out:

An older sailor with a young one, circa 1917.

An older sailor with a young one, circa 1917.

 

Chief Petty Officers playing "Acey-Deucy" on the USS Baltimore, 1904

Chief Petty Officers playing “Acey-Deucy” on the USS Baltimore, 1904

 

Exchanging seas stories, circa 1900

Exchanging seas stories, circa 1900

 

Sailors aboard the USS Oregon, circa 1900

Sailors aboard the USS Oregon, circa 1900

 

These are U.S. Navy sailors from the Spanish-American War period. This photo was recently found in an archival building.

These are U.S. Navy sailors from the Spanish-American War period. This photo was recently found in an archival building.

 

The crew of the Holland, the Navy's first commissioned Submarine in 1899

The crew of the Holland, the Navy’s first commissioned Submarine in 1899

 

Sailors from the USS Hartford, circa 1876

Sailors from the USS Hartford, circa 1876

 

Sailors aboard the USS Ohio circa 1870.

Sailors aboard the USS Ohio circa 1870.

 

Sailors of the Union Navy during the Civil War, 1865

Sailors of the Union Navy during the Civil War, 1865

 

Confederate officers aboard the CSS Alabama, 1863

Confederate officers aboard the CSS Alabama, 1863

 

Admiral DD Porter, 1860

Admiral DD Porter, 1860

 

A Mexican-American War Era Navy Commander, circa 1850

A Mexican-American War Era Navy Commander, circa 1850