Evergreen-Red Cross Institute for the Blind Collection - PP148

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society

ca. 1918-1920

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, October 1999


The Red Cross Institute for the Blind was organized in 1917 at the request of the Surgeon General of the Army to cooperate with General Hospital No. 7 and the Federal Board for Vocational Education. The Institute was founded by Col. Bordley, and was directed by Lawrence W. Wallace (b. 1881) from 1919-1921. In 1922 the facility was was transferred from the Red Cross to the U.S. Veterans Bureau, and was then called Evergreen Vocational Training School.

In operation during and after World War I for the rehabilitation of soldiers, sailors, and marines who became vision-impaired during military service, the Institute was located on Cold Spring Lane between Charles Street and York Rd. in north Baltimore. Part of the facility had been the Kernwood estate owned the Wilson family in the 19th century, and another part was the house known as Evergreen Jr. and surrounding property, which Mrs. T. Harrison Garrett loaned to the government at this time. The Institute used existing estate houses and buildings, and constructed additional buildings for the school's activities, including classrooms, recreational facilities, and barracks.

At the Red Cross Institute for the Blind, men were trained in general and work skills adapted to their visual impairment: typewriting, braille reading, various work skills such as dictaphone, book binding, machining, vulcanizing, poultry and dairy farming, salesmanship, and massage. There were also recreational activities: music, dancing, basket-making, swimming, and bowling. The Institute received visits from dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth of Belgium and Helen Keller, as well as military figures General Pershing and Captain Delveaux, Director of the Belgian Institute for Blind Soldiers.

The school closed in around 1925, and the Evergreen property was returned to Mrs. Garrett's heir, John W. Garrett. Many of the Institute's buildings were razed, and others would be used by Loyola College, which began developing their campus in the early 1920s.

Collection Origin

Unknown provenance (002812).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 14 folders containing 70 photoprints made in ca. 1918-1920. The photographs were made by the Hughes Company, and some of them were printed in the menu/program for a dinner honoring Sir Arthur Pearson on Jan. 16, 1919. All photos are mounted on cloth, with captions on the verso. However, as the photos were previously bound into a book, the caption for each image is attached to the leaf in front of it.

Photographs include soldiers at the Red Cross Institute for the Blind learning various skills: typewriting, braille reading, and work skills such as dictaphone, book binding, machining, vulcanizing, agriculture, salesmanship, and massage. There are also photographs of recreational activities: music, dancing, basket-making, swimming, bowling.

Many soldiers are depicted, but not identified, including African American soldiers. Administrators of the Institute are depicted, including founder Col. Bordley and director Lawrence W. Wallace. Photographs of visiting dignitaries include Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, Helen Keller, General Pershing, and Captain Delveaux of the Belgian Institute for Blind Soldiers.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 14 Folders

Box 1, Folder 1
PP148.1 - Staff and students, 1920.

PP148.2 - Evergreen Jr., residence loaned to government by Mrs. T. Harrison Garrett.

PP148.3 - Elizabethan Garden at Evergreen, with people walking.

PP148.4 - Evergreen Jr., reception hall, with people sitting.

PP148.5 - Relief Map of the Red Cross Institute for the Blind.

Box 1, Folder 2
PP148.6 - Evergreen, lawns.

PP148.7 - Red Cross House (clubhouse and recreation center).

PP148.8 - Red Cross House, reading room, with person sitting.

PP148.9 - Social hour at Red Cross House.

PP148.10 - Red Cross House, garden, with people sitting.

Box 1, Folder 3
PP148.11 - Reading circle at Red Cross House.

PP148.12 - Red Cross House, Christmas decorations.

PP148.13 - Woman and blind soldier on tandem bicycle.

PP148.14 - Kernewood (house), executive offices of the Red Cross Institute for the Blind.

PP148.15 - Buildings erected by the government at the Institute.

Box 1, Folder 4
PP148.16 - Students reading braille and typewriting.

PP148.17 - Students reading braille.

PP148.18 - Classroom of soldiers learning typewriting.

PP148.19 - Student using dictaphone.

PP148.20 - Students making hammocks, baskets, and caning chairs, including African American soldier.

Box 1, Folder 5
PP148.21 - Bookbinding shop, with soldiers and teachers.

PP148.22 - Bookbinding shop, with soldier.

PP148.23 - Bookbinding shop, with soldier.

PP148.24 - Woodworking shop, with soldiers and teacher.

PP148.25 - Men preparing stock for the carpenter shop.

Box 1, Folder 6
PP148.26 - Students making furniture.

PP148.27 - Students erecting addition to a school building.

PP148.28 - Students putting roof on addition to school building.

PP148.29 - Auto-mechanic shop, with soldiers.

PP148.30 - Vulcanizing shop, with soldiers.

Box 1, Folder 7
PP148.31 - Machine shop, with soldier and teacher.

PP148.32 - Student operating drill press.

PP148.33 - Student operating bottle-drying machine.

PP148.34 - Students and teachers with chicken incubators.

PP148.35 - Judging eggs for market and incubation.

Box 1, Folder 8
PP148.36 - Lesson on construction of incubators, with soldiers and teachers including African American soldier. Dup/copy neg Z24.1915.

PP148.37 - Large incubator operated by soldiers.

PP148.38 - Students examining baby chickens.

PP148.39 - Students placing chicks in brooder house.

PP148.40 - Queen Elizabeth of Belgium visiting the Institute, talking to soldiers.

Box 1, Folder 9
PP148.41 - Student preparing fowl for market.

PP148.42 - Model for poultry farm, made of cardboard.

PP148.43 - Student working at dairying, with herd of six cows.

PP148.44 - Student guiding horse to transport refuse.

PP148.45 - Agricultural students with staff, portrait on first field day, 1920.

Box 1, Folder 10
PP148.46 - Group portrait at the Institute: Helen Keller, George Calvert, Miss Thomson (Miss Keller's secretary), Mrs. Macy (Miss Keller's teacher), Colonel Bordley (founder of Institute), and Charles F.F. Campbell.

PP148.47 - Lawrence Wallace, Institute Director with Captain Delveaux, Director of the Belgian Institute for Blind Soldiers.

PP148.48 - General Pershing addressing students and staff, 1920.

PP148.49 - Staff and students, 1920.

PP148.50 - Students making cigars.

Box 1, Folder 11
PP148.51 - Students in anatomy class.

PP148.52 - Students in anatomy class.

PP148.53 - Student practicing massage.

PP148.54 - Plan for store designed for use by the blind (drawing).

PP148.55 - Plan for store designed for use by the blind, interior (drawing).

Box 1, Folder 12
PP148.56 - Victory Shop #1.

PP148.57 - First store opened by two graduates of the Institute.

PP148.58 - Interior of store.

PP148.59 - Store operated by an Institute graduate.

PP148.60 - Dancing, 1919.

Box 1, Folder 13
PP148.61 - Men playing musical instruments.

PP148.62 - Men playing musical instruments.

PP148.63 - Swimming pool.

PP148.64 - Bowling.

PP148.65 - Bedroom.

Box 1, Folder 14
PP148.66 - Dining room, Thanksgiving Day, 1919.

PP148.67 - Students who took part in first public speaking contest held at Evergreen, 1919.

PP148.68 - Same as PP148.67.

PP148.69 - First group of workers of General Hospital #7 and the Red Cross Institute for the Blind.

PP148.70 - Red Cross Unit which went to France to help the blind soldiers. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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