Herbert Sinclair Fairbank Collection - PP28

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

ca. 1908-1950

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

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



Herbert Sinclair Fairbank (1888-1962) worked for 45 years in the Office of Public Roads of the United States Government, serving as Deputy Commissioner for Research from 1943 until his retirement in 1955 He was the son of C. Alexander and Sarah Sinclair Fairbank, and a 1910 graduate of Cornell University.

Early in his career, Fairbank edited Public Roads Magazine in the old Information Section of the Office of Public Roads. He was the original manager of the Highway Planning Surveys mandated by Congress in 1935, authored many reports on highway topics to Congress, and represented the U. S. Government at foreign meetings and assignments.

In 1958, he received the first Thomas H. MacDonald Award, presented by the American Association of State Highway Officials. The address by D.C. Greer honoring Fairbank on that occasion cited his "many contributions to the advancement of the art and science of road building and of highway administration and finance", as well as his "breadth of vision, height of competence, honesty of purpose, warmth of character, and generosity of counsel that assure forever his eminent place in the history of highway transportation in America".

Note: Information on Herbert Sinclair Fairbank is available in the vertical file of the Maryland Historical Society Library.

Collection Origin

Gift of Frank Fairbank, 1980 (75368).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 3 folders containing 10 photographs from years spanning ca. 1908 to 1950. Subjects include Mr. Fairbank and his family, friends and colleagues. There is a group portrait of "Baltimore men at Cornell", ca. 1908.

Note: There are 3 folders with 30 items of printed ephemera, including invitations to the White House and other government affairs, programs, and identification cards. These items would seem to belong in the MS collections, as they document Mr. Fairbank's career.


The photographs are arranged in 3 folders by the following subjects:

Herbert Sinclair Fairbank, n.d.

Charles Alexander Fairbank, Jr. (1878-1942), n.d.

Fairbank family and other individuals, ca. 1908-1950.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 3 Folders

Box 1, Folder 1
Herbert Sinclair Franklin, n.d. 3 items.

Box 1, Folder 2
Charles Alexander Fairbank, Jr. (1878-1942), n.d. 1 item.

Box 1, Folder 3
Fairbank family and other individuals, ca. 1908-1950. 6 items.

Baltimore men at Cornell University, ca. 1908. Includes Wilmer Dehuff and Herbert S. Fairbank. 1 item.

Group of U.N. experts on road signs and signals (Miami, Fl.), 1950. 1 item.

Unidentified woman (Nan?), photos removed from correspondence, 1917. 3 items.

Wilmer A. Dehuff, 1910. 1 item. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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