History of Modern Camouflage by Design Boom
In 1898, Thayer and another artist, George de Forest Brush (september 28, 1855 – april 24, 1941), proposed using camouflage patterns (they called it “counter-shading”) to protect ships during the Spanish-American war. The war ended before the proposal could be acted on. But by the outbreak of World War I in 1914, many countries were experimenting with camouflage for use on land, sea and air.
The French were the first to establish an official camouflage unit, the Service de Camouflage, in 1915. They were followed by the British, Italians, Germans and Americans. Since then, of course, camouflage has moved off the battlefield and into mainstream culture.