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Harry and Ella Fife world trip collection

 Collection
Identifier: C-94
Collection contains over 40 holograph letters, over 100 photographs and postcards, and many pieces of memorabilia, such as menus, booklets about the ships, pamphlets, and programs documenting the culture of the countries visited on the Fife's 1934 trip around the world. The letters in the collection are written by the Fife's to their then 10 year-old daughter Nona, in Middlebury, Vermont. The Fifes traveled first class on the presidential series of Dollar Line ships, and began their journey in New York City. From there, they sailed to Havana, through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and then to Honolulu, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Ceylon, Bombay, through the Suez Canal to Alexandria, and onto Mediterranean Europe. The letters describe the other passengers in first class, social life, and activities aboard the ship. They also describe encounters with the people of the countries visited and Americans abroad. The Fifes write about a brief encounter with Hollywood actor Joe E. Brown on board ship. Also included is an eight page handwritten essay by Harry Fife, "Impressions and Musings of a World Transient," in which he comments on teh exploitation by the West of the Third World. Many photographs taken during the trip document the poor and working class. A number of photographs also includge handwritten captions.

Many letters and photographs appear in published form: Peck, Jim. "Harry & Ella Fife's Trip Around the World in 1934." 2010. Hardbound copy included in Box 2 of collection. Peck's book contains transcripts of the Fifes' handwritten letters, along with biographical information about the Fifes. Peck is the grandson of Harry and Ella Fife.

The collection is divided into two series: Photographs and Correspondence.

Dates

  • 1934

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email: specialcollections@middlebury.edu

Extent

1 Box (1 box, 23 folders)

Biographical / Historical

Harry Moore Fife (1891-1950) as born in Nova Scotia in 1891 and worked in lumber mills as a young man. He attended the Maritime Business College for a year, and became an accountant for the Canadian Car & Foundry Company, after which he studied and taught at the Mount Allison School for boys. He was sent as a missionary to northwestern Alberta, and joined the Canadian Tank Corps in 1916. After the War, he enrolled at McGill University, where he studied economics. Fife was offered a fellowship to continue his studies at Harvard, where he received a master's degree in economics in 1922, the same year he married Ella Sanford. Fife was a Fellow at the University of Chicago in 1923-1924, joined the faculty at McGill in 1924, and joined the faculty at Middlebury College in 1925. He describes his 1934 trip around the world as both a second honeymoon as well as a sabbatical from Middlebury.

Ella Sanford Fife (1893-1949) was born in Nova Scotia. She attended Maritime Business College in Halifax, and became a court stenographer and secretary to a local judge after graduating. She was a volunteer in the recovery services of the city of Halifax in the aftermath of the accidental explosion in 1917. She married Harry M. Fife in 1922.

In "Harry & Ella Fife's Trip Around the World in 1934," Jim Peck writes that the Fife's trip aboard a ship in the Dollar Steamship Line, beginning January 18,1934 and ending August 13, 1934, lasted 208 days. Harry and Ella Fife had three children, Nona (mother of Jim Peck), Harry Jr., and James Arthur. The couple also had one adopted daughter, Doris.

Arrangement

Collection is divided into two series: Photographs and Correspondence. Both series are arranged chronologically.

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Contact:
Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States