Scope and Content

The Franklin S. Terry Papers, 1875-1926, consist of correspondence, reports, ledger pages, clippings, publications, postcards, and photographs relating to Terry's personal life, business activities and, principally, his interest in and activities relating to World War I.

The Terry collection has value and importance for a number of areas of inquiry. Series I, Personal Chronological Files, contain materials relating to Terry's youth and schooling in Connecticut, to a series of international trips he took to Germany, Egypt, Italy and the Mediteranean in the early 1900s, and to his great interest in theater, music and opera. Of special interest in this series is material relating to Terry's involvement in amateur publishing in the 1870s and to the social life and customs of relatively well-to-do adolescents during the 1870s and 1880s.

Series II: Vacation Files, contains information about Terry's summer home in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and to outings, skits and other entertainments undertaken by a group of National Electric Lamp Association managers at a private resort, "Association Island."

The general history of World War I is detailed in Series III which consists of a series of carefully mounted publications and clippings (largely from the New York Times) relating to the history and aftermath of that conflict.

Series IV: Nela Fund Files, provides valuable insight into the relationship of Americans, largely from the business and affluent classes, with the allied powers during World War I. The Nela Fund itself represented an effort to extend aid to orphans and families from the business and professional classes of France. Correspondence to and from these families, along with photographs and postcards, form a major segment of the series and provide extraordinary insight into the effects of the war on this portion of the French (and to a limited extent, Belgian and Italian) population. In some instances the materials from a particular family date from 1916 to the mid-1920s. The Nela Fund files also contain correspondence with agencies that administered Nela aid or assisted in its work. These included the American Ouvroir Fund (of Paris and of New York), the Committee of Hope, Children of the Frontier, the American Red Cross, the Young Men's Christian Association of Cleveland, and the American Relief Clearing House. Other portions of the series detail the administrative work of the Fund and provide information about American donors.

Series V: Terry Miscellaneous Files, relates largely to Terry's business interests and financial holdings It provides information concerning the United States' anti-trust action against General Electric in 1911, the Cities Service Company, and the Peerless Motor Car Company of Cleveland, of which Terry served as a director. Much of the Peerless material relates to Terry's ownership and maintenance of a 1921 Model 56 Peerless automobile.