1 linear foot
The Edwin M. McBrier collection consists of photographs and travel journals of Edwin Merton McBrier, executive with the F.W. Woolworth Company. The 207 photographs were taken by Mr. McBrier during a European trip in 1926 on the behalf of the Methodist Church. McBrier was, at that time, the chairman of a commission to investigate the foreign missions work of the Methodist church. The purpose of this trip was to visit various missions in Europe. The photographs were taken in France, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, Rumania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. The majority was shot in Germany and Eastern Europe. Many are of buildings and places which were not often visited or which have since been war damaged. Each photograph is dated and recorded in captions.
The McBrier photographs are interesting for several reasons. In addition to their historical value as records of architecture and scenes which have subsequently been damaged, they depict Europeans engaged in occupations and activities which no longer exist. Many are dressed in native costumes. The photographs are also interesting for their connection with the Methodist Church since McBrier photographed the churches and missions he visited. Finally, they are well-composed photographs with considerable artistic merit.
Two journals are included in this collection. Our Trip Abroad is the diary from a trip around the world taken by Mr. and Mrs. McBrier in 1929. Some Reminiscences of Edwin Merton McBrier includes recollections of friends, an early history of the F.W. Woolworth Company (McBrier retired in 1921 as Buyer of Merchandise) and an account of an incident which took place during the 1926 European trip. Some of McBrier's many honors for his missionary work are listed, including the order of the Jade. This honor was conferred on him by Chiang Kai Shek. Two large group photographs from the European trip are enclosed in this journal.