Lyle Frederick Bellinger Collection of Gerow (Gerald) D. Brill Letters and Photographs

Gerow D. Brill, December 30, 1901

Introduction

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.

Biographical Note

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.