Table of Contents
The Lyle Frederick Bellinger Collection of Gerow (Gerald) D. Brill Letters and Photographs documents the activities of a USDA employee stationed in China. The letters include Brill’s impressions of life in China, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and Europe. The materials span the years 1897 to 1916, with the bulk produced between 1897 and 1903. The materials are in fair to good condition. Researchers may use the collection without restrictions.
The National Agricultural Library’s Special Collections received the materials in 1997 from Lyle Frederick Bellinger’s son, Lorentz D. Bellinger. The collection was arranged and described in 2018 by Sara Lee, Special Collections Archivist.
Lyle Frederick Bellinger of Illion, New York and Gerow (or Gerald) D. Brill of Poughquay, New York became friends while attending Cornell University. Bellinger graduated in 1887 with a civil engineering degree. Brill graduated in 1888 with an agriculture degree. Their friendship lasted until the mid-20th century. Bellinger died in 1952.
Scope and Content Note
The Lyle Frederick Bellinger Collection of Gerow (Gerald) D. Brill Letters and Photographs contains materials received by Bellinger from 1897 to 1903 while Brill was posted to China by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brill was based at the confluence of the Yangtze and Han Rivers, near the cities of Wusan, Hangkow, and Hangyan, in order to establish a school of agriculture. While working in China, Brill traveled extensively. These letters document Brill’s impressions of life in the Philippines, Dutch East Indies, and parts of Europe. There are 10 letters including envelopes, three envelopes only, and one postcard. The collection also includes eight black and white photographs, four of which have been colored by hand. The photographs document Chinese scenery, including the Great Wall of China (1916), as well as cultural and agricultural practices of the people. There is a 1901 portrait of Brill.