Breo Freeman World War I Photograph Collection MS-0488

Amanda Lanthorne
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA 92182-8050

Contributing Institution: Special Collections & University Archives
Title: Breo Freeman World War I Photograph Collection
Creator: Freeman, Breo
Identifier/Call Number: MS-0488
Physical Description: 0.92 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1914-1919
Date (bulk): 1918-1919
Language of Material: English .

Scope and Contents

The Breo Freeman World War I Photograph Collection visually documents soldier life, foreign dignitaries involved in peace negotiations, and the destruction caused by the First World War. Many of the photographs include captions, agency stamps, or hand-written notes on the back.  Photographs with agency stamps appeared in various publications during and after the war. The collection is divided into four series: Foreign Dignitaries and Admirals; Camp Life and Battlefields; Battleships, Submarines, and Zeppelins; and British and German Landmarks.
The Foreign Dignitaries and Admirals (1918-1919) document American, British, and French leaders just after the armistice. Several of these photographs contain "Copyright – Central News, London" stamps, referring to the British Central News Agency. Dignitaries include President Woodrow Wilson, King George V, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, British Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty, and American Admiral William Sowden Sims. Highlights include a photograph of Admiral Beatty overseeing the surrender of the German Fleet. The files are arranged alphabetically by folder title.
The Camp Life and Battlefields (c. 1914-1919) series documents Canadian soldier life as well as battle aftermath. The series includes photographs of wounded and dead soldiers, scenes of soldiers in camp and at work, destruction on the battlefield, and images of US trains transporting German cannons. Of particular interest is a photograph of two wounded soldiers with faces wrapped in gauze, as well as a photograph of two soldiers standing in front of a large pile of bombed-out rubble. The majority of photographs in this series say "Canadian Official Photograph" with typed descriptions pasted to the back of the photograph as well as a "Photo Supplied Central News" stamp. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Battleships, Submarines, and Zeppelins (c. 1918) document the surrender of the German fleet as well as damages to various naval vessels. The series includes photographs of German submarines, French battleships, battleships awaiting repair at the London docks, and several images of German zeppelins in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Highlights include an image of a German submarine "on show" in the Thames in front of the Tower Bridge. Although many of the submarine photographs contain Central News stamps and/or typed descriptions pasted onto the back of the photograph, none of the photographs of German zeppelins or battleship damage and repairs are stamped.
The British and German Landmarks (1918-1919) consist of two photographs of London crowds on the London Bridge and in front of the Queen Victoria Monument, as well as souvenir photographs of German castles along the Rhine River. There is also an image of a train station in New Jersey. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Arrangement Note

I.     Foreign Dignitaries and Admirals (1918-1919)
II.   Camp Life and Battlefields (c. 1914-1919)
III.  Battleships, Submarines, and Zeppelins (c. 1918)
IV.  British and German Landmarks (1918-1919)

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are in the public domain. However, the nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Source of Acquisition

Dorothy (Gove) Dobbins Freeman

Related Materials

Georgia C. Amsden Papers
Olin Graves World War I Artifact Collection

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Breo Freeman World War I Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, San Diego State University Library.

Biographical Note

Breo Freeman was born in Lousiana on September 10, 1892. He studied architecture at the Armour Institute in Chicago, and in 1914 moved to Pasadena where he worked for Harrison Albright. Under Albright, Freeman worked on the music space for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park and on the Spreckels Theatre in San Diego. In 1917, he enlisted with the United States Navy, and was stationed in London where he oversaw repairs to navy vessels. After the war, Freeman returned to Pasadena to resume work as an architect. His most prominent designs include the Los Angeles County Court Building, the Washington Theater in Pasadena, and the R.K. Collins House. He also served as the first president of the Pasadena Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Freeman passed away in 1975. He had a wife and two sons.



Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1914-1918--Sources


Foreign Dignitaries and Admirals I 1918-1919

box 1, folder 1

Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty Folder 1 November 21, 1918

box 1, folder 2

Admiral William Sowden Sims Folder 2 1918

box 1, folder 3

President Woodrow Wilson and French Premier Georges Clemenceau Folder 3 1919

box 1, folder 4

President Woodrow Wilson, King George V, and the First and Royal Families Folder 4 c. 1918-1919


Soldier Life and Battlefields II c. 1914-1919

box 1, folder 5

Canadian Soldiers and Battlefields Folder 5 c. 1914-1919

box 1, folder 6

German Cannon on Train Folder 6 c. 1918-1919


Battleships, Submarines, and Zeppelins III c. 1918

box 1, folder 7

British and German Submarines Folder 7 c. 1918

box 1, folder 8

Surrender of the German Fleet Folder 8 November 21, 1918

box 1, folder 9

German Zeppelins at Lakehurst, New Jersey Folder 9

box 1, folder 10

Ships awaiting Repair at London docks Folder 10 1918


British and German Landmarks IV 1918-1919

box 1, folder 11

German Castles along the Rhine Folder 11 c. 1918-1919

box 1, folder 12

London Landmarks with Crowds Folder 12 c. 1918-1919

box 1, folder 13

New Jersey Railroad Station - Ceremony Folder 13 1918