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McFee photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0032


This collection includes photographs taken or collected by Eugene Gwynn McFee, staff photographer for the Baltimore American, 1913-1919. The images reveal everyday life in Baltimore, the effects of World War I on soldiers, recreational activities, and Woodrow Wilson's funeral, among others. The dates of the collection span 1900-1930.


  • 1900-1930


Conditions Governing Access

The nitrate negatives are restricted to the public. The remainder of the collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Eugene Gwynn McFee (b. ca. 1892, fl. 1913-1974) was the son of James Harker McFee and Virginia Roberta McFee (d. 1929, age 74). Eugene was probably born in Baltimore, as was his brother Robert Anthony McFee, and probably attended parochial schools. The family lived at 828 N. Fulton Street in 1900. James was a salesman, and Virginia was a longtime member of St. Martin's Church at Fulton Avenue and Fayette Streets. They had 14 children.

Eugene worked as a staff photographer for the Baltimore American circa 1913-1919. He joined the army during World War I, was Sargent First Class by 1920, and worked as an X-ray technician at the United States General Hospital #2 at Fort McHenry. He seems to have continued that work well into the 1920s, although he worked briefly as a photographer for the Baltimore Sun around 1929. By the 1940s, he was married to Elizabeth McFee, worked for the City Bureau of Highways, and lived at 4208 Elderon Avenue in northwest Baltimore.


5.83 Linear Feet (2 full Hollinger boxes; 5 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



The modern and vintage photoprints are arranged according to PP catalog number. The negatives are arranged according to negative catalog numbers, the scheme for which incorporates the size and material of the negative. The nitrate negatives are stored in the nitrate film storage area.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the estate of Eugene G. McFee, 1981.

Related Materials

MS 2699, Eugene Gwynn McFee papers, 1913-1974

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 7 boxes containing 948 photoprints. Of these, Boxes 1-3 contain 419 modern photoprints made at the Maryland Historical Society in the 1980s from vintage glass plate negatives created 1910-1930, and Boxes 4-7 contain 529 vintage photoprints from 1900-1930. The subjects of some vintage photoprints duplicate those of the glass negatives and modern prints. In addition, there are 92 film negatives for which we do not have prints (although some vintage photoprints may correspond to these negatives).

There are McFee family portraits including children's first communion and a school group portrait with Eugene McFee from roughly 1905. Other photographs of unidentified people are present, including Native Americans, children with toys (tricycle, dolls, goat-or ram-drawn sled), beach activities, costume parties, and groups of adults in various social settings. Several photographs depict Miss America contestants. Identified individuals include Baltimore Mayor Harry Preston, Maryland Governor Harrington, "Runt Walsh", General Warfield, Dr. W.A. Councill (minister), and Billy Sunday.

Other subjects include Camp Meade, Fort McHenry and the United States General Hospital #2 during World War I, including a set of photos documenting soldiers' head and facial injuries. There are images from the funeral of Woodrow Wilson (1924), Baltimore Police Captains, and early aviation including hot air balloons, biplanes, and Hubert Latham flying "Antoinetta". There are many sports images, including Baltimore, Reading, Allmo and "The Autographs" baseball teams in 1914, Johns Hopkins University football, ice boating, golfing, horse racing at Pimlico, fishing at Gwynn's Falls, and boxing.

The collection also contains two folders of printed ephemera located in box 7, which includes postcards, business and calling cards, programs, several issues of The Trouble Buster, a magazine of the U.S. Army General Hospital (1918-1919), and one issue of The American Shooter(1916).

Guide to the McFee photograph collection
Under Revision
Katherine Cowan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-16: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States