Frank Brierly, Sr. was born around 1858 in England. By 1910, he was living in Denver at 1765 Lafayette with his wife and two children. Brierly worked as a mason for a marble works by trade, but held a hobby as a photographer that on occasion served as a side business. In 1907, Brierly, Sr. and his son, Frank Brierly, Jr., traveled to Ireland to photograph castles, buildings, and landscapes using a Premo folding camera, all while commuting in a passenger car motorcycle; their interest in architecture may have stemmed from Brierly, Sr.’s career in stonework. Brierly, Jr.’s work as a machinist may have also proved useful in their use of a motorcycle. After developing their photographs, they would use their own equipment to produce printing blocks, brochures, stereograph prints, and lantern slides to present during their travels. They reportedly booked passage on the Lusitania for many of their travels, and even presented their slides to a curious audience on the return trip back to the United States. Brierly, Sr. passed away around 1922 in Illinois, and was remembered in his obituary for his travels to many countries around the world, also including India, Britain, and Canada.
The Brierly collection includes several artifacts, photographic material, a journal, and ephemera related to Brierly, Sr.’s travels to Ireland. The journal in particular offers in-depth documentation of the 1907 trip, and the brochure offers an example of a presentation the father-son duo conducted in Manitoba, Canada. Images from the Ireland trip were the main focus, however they also presented natural scenery from both Canada and Colorado. Printing blocks used in the brochure’s creation, as well as tools for assembling lantern slides, are also included. The camera and several lenses are perhaps the highlight of the collection, stored in a sturdy carrying case likely used when traveling by motorcycle. In all, the collection offers a glimpse at a unique experience of two Coloradans who brought their enthusiasm for both photography and architecture to different parts of the world, and the enterprising endeavors they employed in their travels.