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Elias Burton Holmes

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 12 Mar 2019 03:42 | Edited by: Solivagant 
A comment/observation about this latest Connection (not suggested by me) for "WHS photographed or filmed by Elias Burton Holmes (1870–1958), an American traveler, photographer and filmmaker, who coined the term "travelogue"" (see Wiki)

My travel library contains a copy of a rather fine book titled "Travelogues" published by Taschen in 2006. Produced to their normal high production values, it contains around 350 pages of photos from his collection. It contains an interesting record of what the places we see today looked like c 100 years ago!!

I have carried out a quick comparison with the currently listed 25 WHS Connections and there are a further 16 with photos in the book
Herewith (with dates taken)
Vienna - Opera House 1907
Nubian Monuments - Abu Simbel 1906
Stonehenge - 1914
Holy See - 1890/1924
Itsukushima - 1922
W Norwegian Fjords - Geiranger 1909
Cuzco - 1935
Machu Picchu - 1935
Tunis - 1930
St Petersburg - 1901
Edinburgh - 1886/1914
Vic Falls - 1937
Jungfrau - 1904
Grand Canyon - 1898
Yosemite - 1903

There is also another one in the book titled "Unknown Medieval Reservoir" from 1928!! Anyone who "knows" their Seville Alcazar will be able to identify it as "The Baths of Maria de Padilla"!!! The date coincides exactly with photos of other (uninscribed) photos of Seville - the Taschen researchers just don't know their stuff!!! There will be others - I notice that the Taschen page mentions Dubrovnik - but it isn't in their book!!!

A problem is that many/all of Holmes's photos are still under copyright and I have searched without success for a number of the above examples on the Web!! It would appear that the Burton Holmes Archive is still making money from its collection and doesn't make many of them freely available!!

WHS travellers might be interested in this list of Burton Holmes's "Holidays" each year from 1892 - they read a bit like some of our own travel histories!!! In fact they are a list of his "Lectures" but approximate to his original dates of travel - apart from the earliest and latest ones. He lived 1870 - 1958. His first trip to Europe was in 1886 aged 16 (A "grand tour" with his Grandmother!) and his last trip outside USA was in 1937 to Africa aged 67 (inc Madagascar, Congo, Libya and S Africa). Aged 76, and just back from India for the "n"th time I have a certain personal "interest" in his travel "age trajectory"!!!. He of course lacked access to the contemporary transport system and other modern amenities - but he didn't seem to have any problems with "Financial resources" so will have had his path "smoothed" by as much as money could buy in those days!

Author jonathanfr
#2 | Posted: 12 Mar 2019 04:06 
not suggested by me

Hello Solivagant, it's me who suggested this connection to Els after discovering the existence of this pioneer. With the problem of freely available images, I immediately wanted to know more about the places he had seen, so I'm waiting to receive his book "Travelogues" that I just ordered from Amazon. It seems like a wonderful collection of travel photographs.

Author Durian
#3 | Posted: 13 Mar 2019 02:18 
WHS travellers might be interested in this list of Burton Holmes's "Holidays" each year from 1892

I am quite intrigue with title - Siam, Land of Chang [but probably s/b "Land of Change"], IMO Burton Holmes knew local language and decided to use the word "Chang" which is elephant on his travelogue, too bad that the editor think it should be "Land of Change"

Author Solivagant
#4 | Posted: 13 Mar 2019 02:37 | Edited by: Solivagant 
IMO Burton Holmes knew local language and decided to use the word "Chang" which is elephant on his travelogue, too bad that the editor think it should be "Land of Change"

You are absolutely correct Durian!!
I have looked up the chapter on his "Siam" trip in the Taschen book and it makes it perfectly clear that Burton Holmes used the word "Chang" deliberately and correctly referring to an Elephant.
His lecture was titled "The Land of Chang" and was first given in 1927. This was the same year that a fictional documentary had been produced with that name. It was about a tribesman who accidentally catches a baby "chang". That documentary was critically acclaimed and that the word "Chang" = Elephant, would have been well known to those attending the lecture at that time.

See - for the movie!
But you have to pay! This freely available short modern movie compares Thailand's wildlife then and now using "Chang" - ang+movie+merion+c+Cooper#id=2&vid=39fc5e17004debe1d8c43a7336d6f8da&action=view
You might be interested in the clips from those days. It refers to Hua Kha Kang WHS.

A nice "trivia" point is that the directors were aviators and later assisted with King Kong!!!

Author jonathanfr
#5 | Posted: 13 Mar 2019 04:56 

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