Julius A. Barr Photograph Albums and Films
The Julius A. Barr Photograph Albums and Films document Barr's personal life, flight training, and career in China from 1926-1939 with more than 1,600 photographs and 11 short films. The collection is of interest not only for its relation to aviation history but for the imagery of life in China in the late 1930s. The collection is arranged by format.
The five photograph albums consist of black-and-white snapshots taken by Barr. The albums are ordered chronologically. Album numbers were assigned by the archivist. The first album is labeled "Julius A. Barr, Flying Cadet A.C." and measures approximately 11.5x7.5x2". It includes 268 photos plus 11 loose photos tucked into album, spanning 1926-1927. The album documents Barr's flight training with the Army Air Corps at Brooks Field and Kelly Field, Texas. The images feature military training scenes, including aircraft and aircraft accidents; buildings at the camp; sites in San Antonio; and other military cadets at leisure and in informal portraits. The majority of images are identified with captions handwritten on the album pages. A few pieces of ephemera are included in the album, including some fabric samples from the Army airship TC-10-243, which was wrecked, and some clippings.
The second album is unlabeled but has a brown decorative cover and measures 12.5x9.5x2". It consists of 263 photographs primarily documenting Barr's personal life and his arrival in China, spanning 1929-1931. The images feature Barr's family members, including his wife Hortense and their first child, Jo Ann; a group portrait of members of the Toronto Flying Club; a signed group portrait of pilots at an airshow at Selfridge Field, Michigan in 1929; scenes leaving Seattle and aboard the ship to China; scenes of daily life in Hanking, Nanking [Nanjing], and Tawenkow; and informal portraits of friends and associates in China. Some images have brief captions or identifications penned directly onto the prints, but many images are unidentified.
The third album is a black album with a decorative dragon cover. The dimensions are approximately 11.25x15x2". It is comprised of 514 photos and 5 photomechanical prints affixed to the pages, plus 5 loose photos tucked into the album, covering 1932-1933. Like the previous album, this album is a mix of documentation of Barr's personal life as well as career-related events. The images feature Barr's wife and daughter; scenes of the Chinese military; historic sites in China; aircraft and business associates; travel scenes from a trip to the U.S., including Denver, Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyoming, presumably to visit family; and some snapshots of H.S. "Newsreel" Wong. Tucked into the album is a menu for a "Sayonara" dinner aboard the S.S. President McKinley from January 16, 1932. Identifications in this album are minimal.
The fourth album is a black paper album without a cover, measuring 15.25x11x1.5". It consists of 365 photos from approximately 1934-1935. Like the other albums, this one has many snapshots of family and friends, but also includes aviation-related content. Images depict the unloading crates of containing Boeing planes; construction of a hangar at Nan Hu Field, Wuchang; General Chiang Kai-Shek arriving in in Yunan in May 1935 and inspecting the Loyang School in October 1935; informal portraits and snapshots of Marshal Zhang Xueliang; snapshots with business associates, including Wellwood Beall; historic and natural sites; scenes in various towns, including Wuchang, Hankow, Kuling [Guling], Nan Hu [Nanhui Xian], Kwei Yang [Guiyang, Guizhou Sheng], Yunan [Yunnan], Nanking [Nanjing], and Sian [Xi'an]; and scenes of river flooding. Some photos are identified with inscriptions on the prints.
The fifth and final album is black with no decoration, measuring 14.75x10.75x1.25". It has no title and includes 242 photos affixed in the album, plus five loose photos tucked into the album. There are no dates, captions, or other identifications. The images are primarily personal snapshots of Barr's wife, children, and friends. Locations appear to primarily be in Australia; other locations in the South Pacific might also be represented. Australian animals appear in several photos, and the Chinese consulate in Australia is also depicted. Some of the loose photos are panoramic cityscapes of Sydney, Australia created from series of individual shots. This album has little aviation-related content.
The 11 black-and-white films in the collection date from the 1930s and are all under five minutes long. All were presumably shot by Barr. Most of the films contain travel footage shot by Barr during his time in China, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. Two of the films depict flooding of the Yangtze and Huai rivers, circa 1931, as well as footage of an autogyro in flight. One film contains footage of the assembly of a Boeing 247D aircraft.
Digitized Materials: The films and albums have been digitized from this collection. A selection of aviation-focused photographs from the albums have also been individually digitized.
Please note that materials on TMOF: Digital Collections are presented as historical objects and are unaltered and uncensored. See our Disclaimers and Policies page for more information.
- Julius A. Barr Photograph Albums and Films
- Series I - Photograph albums, 1926-1935, undated
- Box: Scrapbook Box 49 - Album one -- "Julius A. Barr, Flying Cadet A.C.", 1926-1927
- Box: Scrapbook Box 49 - Album two -- brown album with decorative cover, 1929-1931
- Box: Scrapbook Box 50 - Album five -- black album, undated, circa late 1930s
- Box: Scrapbook Box 50 - Album four -- black paper album without cover, 1934-1935
- Box: Scrapbook Box 50 - Album three -- black album with dragon cover, 1932-1933
- Series II - Films
- Series I - Photograph albums, 1926-1935, undated