Coffin was a bodybuilder and collector of bodybuilding memorabilia, especially on the subject of Eugen Sandow.
The collection contains original and copy photographs of Eugen Sandow and other bodybuilders and actors, by well known photographers Arthur Weston, Warwick Brooks, Napoleon Sarony, B.J. Falk, George Steckel, and others; correspondence with well-known bodybuilders such as Joe Weider and Katie Sandwina; and articles and pamphlets about Sandow.
Ernest Edwin Coffin Collection, ca. 1890s-1940s. Archives Center, National Museum of American History