The Dutch Passport of Anton Frederik Philips issued 1915

Sureley a significant document of Dutch (passport) history which you can see yourself at the Philips Museum in Eindhoven.

Anton Frederik Philips (14 March 1874 – 7 October 1951) co-founded Royal Philips Electronics N.V. in 1912 with his older brother Gerard Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. His father and Gerard had founded the Philips Company in 1891 as a family business. Anton Philips served as CEO of the company from 1922 to 1939.

Today’s Koninklijke Philips can trace its history to the 1891 founding by Frederik Philips and his two sons Gerard and Anton Frederik. For a very small country, Holland has certainly nurtured and developed more than its share of world-renowned companies, and Koninklijke Philips (Royal Philips) is probably one the most famous ones of them. Founded in 1891 in Eindhoven, Philips over the decades has been known for its innovation in light bulb, radio, electric razor (Philishave), television, compact disc (CD) and other home entertainment products and diagnostic medical imaging equipment. In recent years, Philips has slowly departed from the low-margin consumer electronics products and focused on things that it’s most competitive: lighting and healthcare equipment.

Born to a Dutch Jewish family, Anton was the second son to Maria Heyligers (1836 – 1921) and Benjamin Frederik David Philips (1 December 1830 – 12 June 1900). His father was active in the tobacco business and a banker at Zaltbommel in the Netherlands (he was also a first cousin to Karl Marx). Anton had an elder brother named Gerard Philips.

In May 1891 the father Frederik was the financier and, with his son Gerard Philips, co-founder of the Philips Company as a family business. In 1912 Anton joined the firm, which they renamed Philips Gloeilampenfabriek N.V. (Philips Lightbulbfactory NV). During World War I, Anton Philips managed to increase sales by taking advantage of a boycott of German goods in several countries. He provided the markets with alternative products.

Anton (and his brother Gerard) are remembered as being civic-minded. In Eindhoven they supported education and social programs and facilities, such as the football department of the Philips Sports Association, which is the best known. Anton Philips brought his son Frits Philips and grandson Frans Otten into the company in their times. Anton, Otten and other family members escaped the Netherlands just before the Nazi Occupation during World War II. They went to the United States and returned after the war.

His son Frits Philips chose to stay and manage the company during the occupation. He was imprisoned for several months at the concentration camp of Vught after his workers went on strike, and he survived. He saved the lives of 382 Jews by claiming them as indispensable to his factory, and enabled them to evade Nazi roundups and deportation to concentration camps. Anton Philips died in Eindhoven in 1951.

Philips Museum: Anton Frederik Philips’ passport
Anton Frederik Philips’ passport dating from 1915.

The Dutch Passport of Anton Frederik Philips issued 1915

The Dutch Passport of Anton Frederik Philips issued 1915

The Dutch Passport of Anton Frederik Philips issued 1915

All pictures by https://www.flickr.com/people/18378305@N00/

The Dutch Passport of Anton Frederik Philips issued 1915

FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...