History

Articles & pictures especially related to passport history.

Experiences as a Queen’s Messenger

1 October, 2014
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Experiences as a Queen’s Messenger by Lieutenant Colonel Kimmins John Kimmins had an army career which started in Sandhurst from where he joined a Cavalry regiment. On retirement at 55 he became a Queen’s Messenger. For those who know little more than that there are such individuals as Queens’ messengers it seems like an easy job: flying Club class everywhere (although in the early days this was always first...

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US Passport signed by Minister Rufus King 1798

28 September, 2014
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(Source: U.S. Diplomacy Center) Rufus King, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, also served as a diplomat and authorized this passport, giving David Hinckley permission to “pass without giving or suffering any molestation or hindrance.” Issued in 1798, this is the oldest American artifact in the United States Diplomacy Center collection. From the founding of our nation until 1856 when Congress enacted new passport laws, many government entities issued...

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What does your passport mean to you?

23 September, 2014
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What does your passport mean to you? It might represent your nationality or your ability to live and work in a certain country. Perhaps it reminds you of having your passport photo taken – a traumatic experience even for the most photogenic – or of the frequently infuriating bureaucracy of visas and entry requirements that overseas travel can entail. Some see the sheer fact of owning a passport as...

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Meet Ruth Bielaski Shipley

19 September, 2014
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Ruth Bielaski Shipley (April 20, 1885 – November 3, 1966) was head of the Passport Division of the United States Department of State for 27 years from 1928 to 1955. She became head of the Passport Division in 1928, the first woman to hold the position, after twice declining the appointment. She succeeded foreign service officer Parker Wilson Buhrman  and initially headed a staff of more than 70. In...

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British Agent (Wife’s Passport)

13 September, 2014
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Major Ian Pirie was a British agent working for the Secret Service – SOE. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a British World War II organization. Major Pirie was stationed in Crete. Niki Dermetzi, a devastating blonde at the Argentina night club, was his girlfriend. THIS is her British passport issued 1947 in London with lots of revenues: 7 Greek, 1 British, 2 Turkish & 3 Spanish and many...

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The Canadian Passport – Early Years

31 August, 2014
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Early years of the Canadian passport The story of the Canadian passport is entwined with Canada’s history, both as a colony of Great Britain and as a neighbor of the United States. Before 1862, Canadians, as British subjects, could travel freely to and from the United States without passports. To travel to Europe, however, a Canadian had to obtain a British passport from the Foreign Office in London. Those...

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The Evolution of the Australian Passport

28 August, 2014
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Early Australian passports are rare to spot. I had only this one in the past. If your collection focus is Australia then you should grab such early documents whenever they appear. The Australian Government first started issuing passports in 1901 following the federation of the colonies. However, Australia’s first federal passport regulations were not introduced until 3 September 1912. And it was another three years before the Australian Government...

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

25 August, 2014
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If the “Roaring Twenties” conjures up images bobbed-hair flappers and couples dancing to jazz music, you may have F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) to thank. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels, short stories, essays and plays. During his lifetime, Fitzgerald completed four novels (a fifth was published posthumously) and about 160 stories. His novels include “The Great Gatsby”, one of...

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Passports are not necessary

22 August, 2014
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Well, at least not according this brochure of the AMERICAN LINE, Philadelphia USA The brochure which was issued till 1907 states… “Passports are not necessary to United States citizens in most European countries, but travelers frequently find it to their advantage to carry with them this evidence of their citizenship. They are useful as a means of admission to certain places of interest, and also for identification at banks...

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German Nazi Passport With “Stamped” Middle Name SARA

19 August, 2014
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German Nazi Passport With Stamped Middle Name “SARA” In my collection I do have several of these but I never saw so far one like this where the Jewish mandatory middle name SARA is STAMPED. The Nazis made it mandatory to Jews to “re-register” their passports so that they can add the infamous big red “J” and the middle name “Sara” or “Israel” to mark then clearly as Jews!...

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Two New Books On Passport History! A MUST HAVE For Any Serious Collector! Click for details!