Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Irving L. Blinn Letters, 1892

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, January 2102

Summary Information
Title: Irving L. Blinn letters
Creator: Blinn, Lewis W.
Inclusive dates: 1892
Extent: 6 items
This collection contains 6 letters written by Irving L. Blinn to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis W. Blinn of Los Angeles, California, during a trip around the world in 1892. Blinn and an unnamed companion traveled primarily by steamship and railroad, and made their way from Kobe, Japan, to Paris, France, between May 9 and September 14, stopping at Bombay, Cairo, and Athens.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1999. M-4031.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Irving L. Blinn Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Irving L. Blinn was born in San Francisco, California, on August 2, 1870, the son of Lewis Blinn (1842-1928) and Celia Little (d. 1919). His father owned the L. W. Blinn Lumber Company, which owned lumber yards throughout California and the southwestern United States. After attending public schools in Sacramento, Irving studied at Hopkins Academy in Oakland and at St. Matthew's Hall in San Mateo. He inherited his father's business and later founded the Blinn-Waldo Mill Company in Westport, Oregon. His first wife, Genevieve Nannery of New Brunswick, Canada (1874-1956), was a silent film star; they had one son, Lewis Winship Blinn II (b. 1896), and divorced in 1904. He then married Corrine Cottrell Basset of New York.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 6 letters written by Irving L. Blinn to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis W. Blinn of Los Angeles, California, during a trip around the world in 1892. In his first letter, written on May 9, 1892, Irving reported that he had just left Kobe, Japan, for Hong Kong on the steamer Ancona . He commented on the nationalities of the ship's passengers, who were mostly British, and noted that the ship was loaded for cargo intended for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In further letters written in India and on the Red Sea, he continued to report on his progress, and detailed his anticipated westward route, which included a stop at Cairo. He often described the geography of his surroundings as well as his fellow passengers on the Hassiha ; among the passengers was a British soldier headed home after being stationed in India. Blinn maintained an interest in the presidential election cycle, and noted the nomination of Grover Cleveland, who ran for president against the incumbent Benjamin Harrison. In his final two letters, written in Athens, Greece (August 10, 1892), and Paris, France (September 14, 1892), he described his sightseeing activities and wrote about the experience of traveling.

Subject Terms

    • Athens (Greece)--Description and travel.
    • Cairo (Egypt)--Description and travel.
    • India--Description and travel.
    • Indian Ocean--Description and travel.
    • Ocean travel.
    • Steamboats.
    • Voyages around the world.
    • Blinn, Irving L., b. 1870
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   49, Small Collections  
    Irving L. Blinn letters [series]
    Folder   50  
     May 9, 1892-September 14, 1892
    Additional Descriptive Data

    American Historical Company. American Biography: A New Cyclopedia. Vol. 47. ed. William Richard Cutter. New York: American Historical Society, 1916.

    Eppinga, Jane. Tombstone. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2010.