Morris C. McEldowney Military Service in East Asia Photograph Album, 1954-1955
A hand-made photograph album by US Army Chaplain Morris C. McEldowney, dated 1954-1955. The album contains 190 photographs laid down on 172 stiff cardboard sheets, 7.5 x 4 inches, plus 6 small Japanese color woodblock views laid down on three more pages. The candid snapshots, with handwritten captions, are primarily of Seoul, Korea, the 8th Army military base, and the surrounding area. It also contains photograhs of Pusa, Korea, Tokyo, and Sendai, Japan.
- Collection Number
- Morris C. McEldowney Military Service in Korea and Japan photograph album
- McEldowney, Morris C., 1905-1986
- 0.4 Linear Feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
A hand-made album of 190 photographs laid down on 172 stiff cardboard sheets, 7.5 x 4 inches, plus 6 small Japanese color woodblock views laid down on three more pages. Most of the black-and-white gelatin silver photographs measure 4.5 x 3.5 inches and are candid snapshots of the local people, shrines, public buildings, and marketplaces in and around Seoul. Some of the photographs are non-standard sizes, having been cut and cropped by McEldowney. McEldowney also carefully recorded notes in ink on what he was seeing, providing both historical and personal commentary in the margins of most of the pictures.
Twenty-four photographs are views of sites in Sendai and Tokyo, the rest are of Korea, and the 8th Army compound (Yongsan Garrison) in Seoul. He documented the refugee housing in Seoul, a barber shop set up inside a cave near the Thousand Steps, the Capitol Building constructed by the Japanese, the Korean royal palace (Gyeongbokgung), a white buddha statue located in a rock quarry, the Tomb of the Kings, women doing laundry in the river, and many street scenes.
The photographer captured pictures of U.S. Ambassador to Korea Ellis O. Briggs and his daughter Lucy, and his successor, William S. B. Lacy.Several of the chaplains stationed in Korea at this time also appear in the photographs, including Lewis Durden, Bernie Fenton, and John Woods. There are photographs of the opening ceremonies for the 8th Army Chaplain's Leadership School and Retreat, the DMZ, two Korean sisters who worked as secretaries and interpreters for the army, a YMCA school, and a local Boy Scout troop.
Titles of pages are provided by creator. Notes provided are verbatim transcripts of handwritten captions provided by creator.
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Morris C. McEldowney Military Service in East Asia Photograph Album, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Contains 190 photographs on 172 sheets.
In contrast to all the natural beauty, see what man has done to nature. Louie and I stop for a photo overlooking the city shown in panorama.
Part of the wall surrounding the old city. Note: Lady at left in long waisted velvet traditional skirt.
Located in the national forest near ancient city wall built in 1398.
Overlooking city, Picture reverse: taken from the lower square
Looking toward the top of Namsan Mountain. The steep cliffs of the mountain formed part of the ancient city wall--is now a national park.
Sun through a gate in Kyong Bok palace. Capitol building was built by the Japanese and is unused by the present government out of President Rhee's extreme hatred of Japanese.
A closer view from another gate in the palace grounds. Kyong Bok palace was built in 1395 and restored in 1865. It's the home of Korean kings.
This is an Oriental God--an idol, and the priest and acolyte are conducting ritual. It's located N/W of Seoul in a rock quarry some 15 miles from HQ. Although it was mid-afternoon--
A cold wind was blowing. The 2 Buddhists finished their liturgy and went to their monastery on the rock ledge to R of picture. Picture was taken on icy surface of a stream. Note: liturgical vessels on altar.
Surprising architecture is quite typically Korean but its location and size suggest a gasoline fueling station.
A memorial built in 1902 in memory of King Kojong's ascension. It's a little gem located in a busy street intersection.
Courtyard in front of the palace buildings-- once a garden but rather unkempt at present.
They have very unpronounceable Korean names so the GIs in the office have called them Kozie (R ) and Koko (L). Kozie is our secretary and interpreter leaving in Aug for Shenandoah College Va.
Can you see any resemblance in features between Koreans of yesterday and today.
13 story pagoda is the largest in Korea. Site commemorates a temple built in 1466.
Royal Banquet Hall built in 1412 by Tai Jong at the Kyong Bok Palace behind the capitol building. Damaged during Communist invasion and restored in 1954.
Built in 1395 and restored in 1865. Stairs lead from either side to the guard tower which commands a view of surrounding terrain as well as palace grounds.
dates from 15th century. Located at one of Seoul's busy downtown traffic circles.
located on an island in a lagoon at Kyung Bok palace. Built in 1867. Bridge restored in 1953.
Ann - It was at this point that thousands of Koreans died during the recent war. The Han river lies between Seoul and North K. and safety in the South. Some idiot blew the center span of this bridge 24 hours early and people drowned like rats.
River and mountains in the background looking toward Seoul bay and the river. I really do not know what the monument commemorates but one suggestion appears obverse.
Monument is to represent the king and the second figure is his chief steward or something. Animals are horses.
The flat rock is a table where the family came for ceremonial meal with the departed spirit of dead king. The pagoda type object to L of table is where a light is kept burning.
Located in Kyung Bok Palace. Architecture is classical period built in 1412.
2 of 16 original lions flanking the Forbidden bridge, guarding the palace.
In ancient days an overnight journey from Seoul to the East. Located on hills in a quiet valley, nine tombs are preserved marking the burial palace of Korea's rulers. Now preserved as national park.
L: Forbidden Bridge, R: Audience Hall with stone lions adorning entrance, built 1394.
Note: East meets West in men's garb. Note: Sign in English reading "Paint Shop" and below same legend in Korean or Chinese.
Laborer wearing loaded "A" Frame. All students in Korea wear the student uniform -- lad behind the laborer. Left- Completely Western garb of hatless youth.
Several families share a common inner court surrounded by stone wall and single entrance.
Building is unused today because built by Japanese and a bitter reminder.
This market extends for 2 city blocks and is jammed with miscellaneous items as you see here and crowds of people.
Many of the refugees from beyond the DMZ live in cramped temporary shelters in Seoul. City population is swollen beyond capacity. Some live even in caves.
Sanitation under normal conditions just doesn't exist and during the rainy season becomes a swampy matrix of germs and infection.
Note: 1) No hands - woman in foreground. 2) Student uniform - All children in school are required to wear this uniform - the little girl left of center. 3) Slacks 4)Hair styling 5) Open shop.
This picture is almost American or European. It might be almost any American city. Only one thing in picture marking the scene as oriental and that is the hand cart in the center of the picture.
Bales of Chinese cabbage in background. Other items = red pepper, garlic.
Yes, the man in white is doing exactly what he appears to be doing. And Korea turns its head in unconcern.
An especially good study of Korean types. Papa San with his placid gestures. Young matron - sweet faced. A student in uniform. And the child at the bottom of the picture.
I tried to catch John beside Miss Korea at the bus stop by my shutter jammed and a second later, he had a telephone pole between them.
These rice straw mats serve as floor coverings and mattresses. Rather a typical item of oriental home economy-- not strictly Korean since use and manufacture were introduced by the Japanese.
Looking toward Nam San Mountain. Ch. W with camera in center of street.
Located just at the top of the thousand steps, this Pentecostal group has indulged the customary emotional excesses even to an attempt to convert Chaplain Durden.
Note the EDE-WA shoes, bloused trousers, the white, white robe, hat, beard, and cane. Taken on road to the 1000 steps. Nam Sam or South Mountain.
As we came along he had just taken mail from the street pillar mail box. J.W. has his attention as I snapped any picture.
He speaks a little English. He wears a wrist watch. He sees much and knows much as is much interested in the world. He loves his barren hills and scrub pines and is willing and capable of fighting.
Wears glasses and a "Papa San" hat @ 4000 Hwan. His smile hides a shyness and suspicion of cameras and everything western. He is conservative, suspicious, resists change. He loves the old order, the ancient ways and nurses ancient hatreds including Japan.
Two aces visit the Kings. If your wish is a clever title. Taken Memorial Da afternoon 1955.
Two little girls too busy to watch the camera. The game is marbles. Place - the busy MSR* playground sidewalk or what passes as a walk -- packed clay. Seoul *Main Supply Route
Faces of the elderly are very impressive. A mood of serenity and mental alertness is characteristic. There is a certainty and a mark of quality about this old gentleman in spite of clothing. Note padded - or quilted pants.
Taken on MSR. Note curbing and temporary fence - evidence of war damage. MSR - Main Supply Route
In USA they would be on Grayce's front lawn with petunias. In Korea kimchee is anything but a petunia. Note dress = 1) Korean low, pointed shoes 2) GI jacket, hat 3) Also, beard.
Little girl was camera shy -- refused to pose and ducked her head as I snapped. K-16 and mountains in background. Nov 54
Picture shows Korean baby sling. Men never carry babies. Women never wear "A" frame.
This might serve as a front piece to your collection of snaps. Goodness knows you have seen this number often. Through this building -- it's really quite large, goes all the thousands of letters and packages. It's the gateway to my daily visit home.
Corner of my house shows at lower left. Quonset below house is mess hall. Office is bldg. in center and to right of cen. racing field.
Papa San - Jeep driver of No. 35. Mamma San, our housekeeper. Our Mamma San is one to right
Mother and baby - showing baby sling and method of carrying cargo on head. Note bandage on baby's ear. Korean dirt farmer in traditional whites. Note open sewer on left.
Chapel, parade ground, athletic field. Chaplain Bernie Fenton.
Note: size of windows. My room is rear corner of left wing, 2nd floor.
Picture taken from mountainside. From left- right Quonset - billets, Chapel - adjoining kitchen and dining room. Right - office and billets for HQ det.
View from the old city wall overlooking the Han River and K-16.
Replica of gate appears on 100 hwan notes. Located on road to Musan-ni.
Lt Brennan at right, escort for Dr. Poling.
Pictures snapped at Eighth Army heliport Fri 24 Dec. Showing John Woods arriving from the 1st marine division.
Pictures taken Thanksgiving afternoon on a walk along the MSR. Women working with the paving gang refused to pose so John grabbed one of the shovels.
Mary Gryader, administrative assistant (center) with Chaplain Woods and Fay Persons, a friend. The day she arrived at K-14.
Our cottage in the woods. My room is facing road on the rear. Concrete porch faces the Han river and a chain of mountains, now has white lawn chairs and table.
Gen Beach giving address, Chaplain Woods invocation
Taken during the singing of "America."
EV Robie was with me.
This hospital really is Lucy Briggs' project. Guess she has turned everybody upside down to get the building and the equipment. Baby really looks sick.
This is the residence of Ambassador Briggs in American Embassy Compound. Picture was taken on 22 Feb. at time of my visit in connection with the dedication of the Children's Hospital.
American flag on foreign soil -- flying above the snow-covered parade ground in the Eighth Army (forward) Headquarters. Picture was taken from the Eighth Army HQ Chapel, looking toward HQ building.
Review in honor of Ambassador Lacey, recently appointed American Ambassador to Korea. Honor guard and color guard. Han San mountain in background.
Guard reviewed by Lt. Gen Ferrenbaugh, General Disney, Ambassador Lacey, Second row 8 A G staff. In background - 8 Army Chapel, theatre, library.
Photo = at the Presbyterian mission in Seoul. Dr. Ed Adams, Mr. Lutz, Mrs. Lutz, Dr. Poling. Entrance to Adams residence.
Plane is the Batan and field is K-16. Miss Sitler and Chaplain Woods join the group.
Note: 4 stars on star. Army commanders plane. Ready to leave -- some officer changed his mind at the last minute.
Note: Expressions on faces of Koreans. Orientals have a sense of humor and know a good joke when they see it.
Ambassador and Mrs. Briggs are the two on the inside of foursome. Sue Adams at the L of picture and Ned Adams R. Adams I have mentioned frequently as Deans of Presbyterians here.
"Y" runs school for some 1200 children in these squad tent classrooms. Children here are waifs picked up from the streets by Boy Scouts.
Youngster in the baby ward , an orphan. This is the hospital that Lucy Briggs was interested in.
Lanterns have the "Y" triangle symbol and burn candles. Two of the street waifs rescued by the Scouts.
Scout hut in background where the rescued children live until they can be placed in houses.
At Retreat Center Chapel. This is the bride who kept the groom waiting 3 hours.
This picture was taken during our walk on Thanksgiving Day. We met the Chaplain (R ) of the G? regiment and stopped for pictures. Background, 8th Army compound.
Picture taken during one of our Saturday jaunts on the heights overlooking the Chaplain School and the Han River Valley.
Orphans, Miss Ko, Chaplain, Civ. Secretary, and Johnson our clerk as Santa.
Taken shortly after I had retrieved my Samoca from residence of Sigmund Rhee where I had left it inadvertently during my visit with Dr. Blake.
At left: Hong Soon Il (Jeep 35), kyung Ae Ko (Secretary), Lee Heung Kuk (House boy), Yang Yong Suk (Jeep 36). Right: Mama san, her son. I don't even know their Korean names.
Left: Yongsan area near 8th Army compound. Right: downtown Seoul. Both pictures show women balancing objects on their heads.
Some of the Easter sunrise service crowd going by the Thousand Steps from the top of Han San.
Hardly visible is the Easter cross down left center. Crowd is breaking up and departing from the mountain.
Right to left: Durden (Dovie), McCracken (Mac), McE (me), Woods (John), Blank (don't know). Vice Dres. Of Korea (State national (??) guard in rear.
Monument is located at North Gate Main Post. At R. is General Ferrenbaugh
Front center: Ferrenbaugh, Front R facing monument: Ambassador Lacey. 3rd row - civilian is Karl Strum, US charge d'affairs. Next: Col. Ed Wilson, our roommate.
Part of Pusan -- area nearest Japan-- has the best shipping facilities in Korea. (F???) was the site of America's last-ditch stand before our invasion at Incheon.
Taken on Wednesday during my visit as escort for Ken Fristoe at OP site overlooking DMZ.
Waiting for my plane on Friday. Herschel Ineeder and I wandered to beach near K-9. Water here is the Yellow Sea and direction is toward the China Coast.
Party stands on height overlooking the Imjin River and the DMZ as shown on reverse.
Freedom Bridge lies between the 2 ink dots on river bank. Below at base of mountain is US civil camp and a dust spangled road leading from river. Korean civilians are not permitted N of Imjin.
Note line of pen marks on photo. Hardly visible above each dot is a white panel marker indicating Southern boundary or DMZ 3 miles beyond are red flags.
Preparation of paddy for the planting of rice. This is just plain mud. Can you imagine conducting a war through this kind of terrain? No place for fox holes.
This is taken from the chaplain's office in Camp Shimmelpfennig. 1st Cav Div HQ. The rotary in front of N building was simply loaded with color. Flowers of all shapes and hues.
This picture was taken from near the same spot as the one on reverse. This is the 1st Cav Div chapel in Shim. Road and walk in foreground lead to the chaplain's office.
Showing front entrance, maids quarters to R and to R beyond the separate maids quarters, the garage. Foreground: board fence which encloses compound. Maid Ishii San is (???), has a husband - a tailor- and 4 children. All live in 3 rooms.
French doors slide open. At L is a fish pond with fish. Not in picture at L is a fence and the electric power relay station.
Street car passing in distance. Direction is toward town of Sendu -- hospital, camp Sendai, Camp Shim.
Living room. Ch. Cooper in chair. Mirror over fireplace reflects the street forest of beams to my rear which is the view from living room and living room French doors. Curtains are installed-- maybe cerise in color -- covering doors.
This is the Japanese counterpart to the church or cathedral. Note the variety of gables in this picture and the one on back.
Some kind of ceremony was taking place inside this building but I didn't try to go in. The temple was surrounded by flowers and gardens and fountains.
Tokyo has no sky scrapers although it's the 3rd largest city in the world. Reason: the frequent earthquakes.
En route to my office. Office bldg. at L of picture with the smaller building housing latrine facilities. Am facing toward Faith Hall and S Post.
Horse is particularly good -- mounted warrior in armor. Picture at left was taken against Sun - I tried for silhouette.
This was one of several entrances. Most of them were closed. This is the only one which seemed to be in use.
This bell is an exact replica of the liberty bell in Philadelphia. It stands on a knoll in the park overlooking the tennis courts. It is nearly hidden and I discovered it by accident.
Some severe looking person whose identity I could not learn, and whose features were so weathered and black even my camera failed to record. Probably an emperor.
There were hundreds of tourists, particularly school children, surrounding this plaza.
Rather an unusual picture. Should have had more light. The fountain was an attractive spot right in the center of Hibya Park in downtown Tokyo.
This is not far from the famed Imperial Hotel and adjacent to the Imperial Palace. It has beauty as you can see from this lagoon and fountain.
I was able to crowd a great deal into this picture. I fact there is much more in his picture than there is in the park. I was quite mystified when the picture came from the developer until I discovered that it is a double exposure.
Morris C. McEldowney (1905-1986) served 17 years as a Chaplain in the US Army, and retired from regular service in 1959. He saw three tours of duty in Europe and one in the Far East.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- McEldowney, Morris C., 1905-1986
- United States. Army -- Military life
- United States. Army. Army, 8th.
- Korea (South) -- History
- Korea (South) -- Social life and customs
- Pusan (Korea)
- Seoul (Korea) -- Social life and customs
- Seoul (Korea) -- History -- Pictoral works
- Seoul (Korea) -- History, Military
- Sendai-shi (Miyagi-ken, Japan)
- Seoul (Korea) -- Description and travel
- Tokyo (Japan) -- Description and travel
The Morris C. McEldowney Military Service in East Asia Photo Album was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in December, 2014.
Processed by: Katrina Martin, Alice Poffinberger, December, 2014
Accessions described in this finding aid: 2014-0198