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F. B. C. Bradlee (1881-1928) Collection

F. B. C. Bradlee (1881-1928) Collection

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F. B. C. BRADLEE (1881-1928) COLLECTION, 1792-1927

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Bradlee, Francis Boardman Crowninshield, 1881-1928
Title:F. B. C. Bradlee (1881-1928) Collection
Quantity:2.75 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:The F. B. C. Bradlee collection contains materials collected pertaining to ships, particularly steamships, and railroads.
Collection Number:MH 45

Series List

SERIES I. Steamships
A. Ships' Papers
B. Research
C. Correspondence
D. Other
SERIES II. Railroads

Scope and Content Note

The F. B. C. Bradlee collection contains materials collected pertaining to ships, particularly steamships, and railroads. This collection has been divided into three series.

Series I. Steamships contains materials relating to Bradlee's interest in steamships. It does contain material on ships that are not steamships; however, the majority of the ships are steamships. This series has been divided into four subseries. Subseries A. Ships' Papers contains papers relating to individual ships, such as bills of lading, invoices, and bills of sale. Subseries B. Research contains Bradlee's research on steamships, such as notes, and transcriptions of new clippings and articles. This subseries also contains an article that Bradlee wrote. Subseries C. Correspondence contains correspondence related to Bradlee's research. There is also a folder of correspondence relating to a controversy surrounding facts about a steamship, Dreadnought, which Bradlee participated in. Subseries B. Other contains miscellaneous steamship material, such as catalogs of Bradlee's personal steamboat views, negatives, models, and relics. Also found in this subseries are stock certificates, custom house book, and a poem.

Series II. Railroads contains materials relating to Bradlee's interest in railroads. It contains stock certificates, Bradlee's research notes, and related correspondence.

Series III. Other contains material that Bradlee collected about Pierre "Peter" C. L'Enfant, the architect and civil engineer, who designed the layout of Washington D. C. This series also contains correspondence relating to Bradlee genealogy, in addition to miscellaneous correspondence.

Biographical Sketch

Francis Boardman Crowninshield Bradlee was born on April 20, 1881 to Josiah and Alice (Crowninshield) Bradlee in Boston, Massachusetts. Bradlee was a Vice President of the Essex Institute and an avid collector and researcher of all things related to American transportation, especially steam navigation and steam locomotion ("Business History from Antiques," 15); he also wrote extensively on both topics. He married Marion Knight on November 21, 1904. Bradlee died on January 6, 1928 ("Francis Boardman Crowninshield Bradlee").

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Baltic (Ship)
Dreadnought (Ship)
E. G. Buxton (Schooner)
Ferox (Ship)
Gallant (Schooner)
Gilpin (Steamer)
Huron (Steamboat)
Jersey Blue (Steamboat)
M. L. Hart (Schooner)
Massachusetts (Steamer)
Mayflower (Steamer)
Nellie Doe (Schooner)
Ontario (Steamship)
Regulator (Schooner)
S. S. Bickmore (Schooner)
Sir John Moore (Brignanine)
State of Maine (Steamer)
Washington (Brig)
Weybosset (Steamer)
Worcester (Steamer)
Marine insurance
Ships papers


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

F. B. C. Bradlee (1881-1928) Collection, MH 45, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was donated by Francis Boardman Crowninshield Bradlee who gathered the material in this collection. A Salem resident and researcher on American transportation, Mr. Bradlee published books on American shipping and railroading and documented the histories of several New England railroad companies. Some correspondence was integrated into this collection from an unidentified Fam. Mss collection in 2009. One letter to Robert B. Smith from Bradlee, dated July 18, 1918, and a manuscript by Bradlee titled "The Collins' Steamers 'Atlantic,' 'Baltic' and 'Adriatic'" were found in a copy of George Henry Preble's Chronological History of the Origin and Development of Steam Navigation (copyright 1895) in the library; however, there is no evidence that the book belonged to Bradlee. Miscellaneous correspondence dated 1874, 1884, 1926 and 1927 were given to the Essex Institute on September 22, 1975 by Sargent Bradlee.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, March 2015.

Related Material


"Business History from Antiques: The Work of Francis Bradlee." Bulletin of the Business Historical Society. 1 no. 7 (May-June1927): 14-15.

"Francis Boardman Crowninshield Bradlee." U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Related Collections

Collection of newpaper clippings, photographs, programs, etc., with annotations, of the Eastern Railroad, Boston and Maine Railroad, New York, Connecticut and other railroads, 1829-1926. E B811 18- v. 1.

F. B. C. Bradlee Scrapbook Collection, Steamship Lines and Steamships, 1851-1964. SRC 15.

Francis Boardman Crowninshield Family Papers, 1801-1948. MSS 402.

New England Railroad Collection, 1830-1992. MSS 436.

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