O'Brien (Boone) Collection - PP18

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

O'BRIEN (BOONE) COLLECTION
ca. 1940-1985
PP18

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, July 1999


History

R. (Raphael) Sanchez Boone, Jr. (1909-1974) was a lifetime resident of 1221 N. Calvert St. in Baltimore city. His parents were R. Sanchez (1872-1954) and Ada (O’Donnell) Boone (1872-1969). R. Sanchez, Sr. was in the liquor wholesale and retail business, having inherited the Boone-Elder Company (established 1871) from his father Daniel A. Boone. Ada O’Donnell Boone was founder (in 1891 at age 19) and former headmistress of Miss O’Donnell’s School which she conducted in her home, educating local children including the former Bessie Wallis Warfield, a neighbor on E. Biddle St.

R. Sanchez, Jr. was a graduate of City College and Loyola College. He did not marry, but served in the merchant marine, then the U.S. Army. During World War II, he attained the rank of Major, and served as Fire Marshal for U.S. forces in Great Britain, apparently witnessing the worst of the London Blitz, which is documented in this collection. After the war he joined the Boone-Elder Company, becoming president after his father’s death in 1954. A Boone-Elder Company retail store was located at 1001 Cathedral Street. Mr. Boone was involved in civic activities and neighborhood improvement associations in the Mt. Vernon area of Baltimore city.

A life long "fire buff", Mr. Boone ran errands for the firemen at the No. 28 engine house at Guilford and Mt. Royal Avenues as a child, and as an adult was known to literally "drop everything" to reach the scene of any multiple alarm fire in the vicinity.

He was a charter member of the Pompier Club, an organization of Baltimore fire enthusiasts formed in 1949 from a split within the Box 414 Association. He also belonged to two fire-related organizations in New York – the Fire Bell Club and the Cycle Club. He was made an honorary Chief of the Baltimore Fire Department in February, 1972.


Collection Origin

Gift of Ada Boone O’Brien, 1980 (75153).


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box, with 13 folders and one album, containing 200 items with 129 photoprints from ca. 1940-1985. The bulk of the collection (84 photoprints, and 50 xeroxed pages with commentary from the discarded album that originally contained the photos) documents damage to the city of London, England from air raids during World War II in the early 1940s. There are also portraits of Boone during service in the U.S. Army, and of other individuals including members of Boone’s family. There are unidentified group portraits of what appear to be military companies, and a signed portrait of Walter T. Graham. Other subjects include the Mt. Vernon area of Baltimore city, including a photo of the Boone-Elder Company liquor store.

Note: Collection also contains assorted memorabilia (21 items), including: Boone’s military identification card, 1945; Boone’s certificate of merit from the U.S. Army, 1945; Ada O’Donnell Boone’s calling card; postcards of Rochefort-en-Terre; certificates honoring Boone from the Baltimore City Police and Fire Departments, 1964-1972; greeting cards with fire themes, n.d.

Note: Related materials are held in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society: MS. 2462, the Boone-O’Brien-Harnickell Papers; and MS. 2356, the O’Brien Papers.


Arrangement

The collection is organized by subject under the following headings:

- R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. and family, n.d. and 1944-1945.

- Portraits, ca. 1945.

- Baltimore scenes, n.d.

- London Blitz, ca. 1939-1941.

- R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. as honorary Chief, Baltimore City Fire Department, 1972.


Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 12 Folders, 1 Album

Box 1, Folder 1
R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. and family, n.d. and 1944-1945. 5 items. Photos taken at the home of Richard and Ada Boone O’Brien at 5006 Greenleaf Rd. in Baltimore, 1944; One photo of the Boone-Elder Company liquor store at 1001 Cathedral St., n.d.

Box 1, Folder 2
R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. and family, n.d. and 1944-1945. 3 items. Color photos of Boone and his mother, Ada O’Donnell Boone, and other unidentified persons, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 3
R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. and family, n.d. and 1944-1945. 1 item. Photo of Boone, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 4
R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. and family, n.d. and 1944-1945. 16 items. Photos from R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. correspondence, n.d. and 1945. Boone and unidentified individuals, seemingly during World War II.

Box 1, Folder 5
Portraits, ca. 1945. 3 items. Includes Walter T. Graham, signed and dated 1945; 2 long-format group portraits of unidentified military companies, n.d. One photoprint is rolled.

Box 1, Folder 6
Baltimore Scenes. 1 item. Fire at waterfront, n.d. (ca. 1950s-1960s?).

Box 1, Folder 7
Baltimore Scenes. 4 items. Mt. Vernon area, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 8
London Blitz, ca. 1939-1941. 25 items. Photoprints removed from album.

Box 1, Folder 9
London Blitz, ca. 1939-1941. 26 items. Photoprints removed from album.

Box 1, Folder 10
London Blitz, ca. 1939-1941. 26 items. Photoprints removed from album.

Box 1, Folder 11
London Blitz, ca. 1939-1941. 50 items. Xerox copy of pages to album (discarded) which held photos, with commentary by R. Sanchez Boone, Jr.

Box 1, Folder 12
London Blitz, ca. 1939-1941. 7 items. Photoprints found inside album but not attached.

Album
R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. as honorary Chief, Baltimore City Fire Department, 1972. 1 item (album with 12 photoprints). Album of photoprints depicting event establishing R. Sanchez Boone, Jr. as honorary Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, 1972. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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