What a great find!
For the very first time, I see an identity card of the League of Nations. The ID card came with two typed letters. All documents are in excellent condition. Now, who was Jean Smith, to whom the temporary ID was issued?
The document was valid from Aug 23rd to Dec 25th, 1922, and was signed by the first Secretary-General of the League of Nations, Eric Drummond himself. He was also the longest-serving Secretary-General of all three.
The photograph of Jean is also quite interesting, as it partly colorizes her (in Green) and shows her with a hat. The two typed pages with the headline “In Quest Of A New Britain” is an interesting read.
Content of the typed pages League of Nations Identity Card
The text discusses the need for a New Britain, emphasizing the importance of open discussions and diverse opinions to find solutions. It raises questions about the social system, comparing Social Security to other ideologies.
The text mentions the unfulfilled promise of a better post-war society and highlights the value of the British Commonwealth’s social system achieved through tolerance and patience.
It acknowledges land limitations and proposes a League of Nations or Citizens in the Commonwealth for thoughtful ideas. The text suggests replacing religion with medicine, highlighting impartiality and public trust.
Three Takeaways: League of Nations Identity Card
- Open dialogue’s significance: The text emphasizes open discussions and diverse viewpoints for effective problem-solving.
- The current social system’s limitations and unfulfilled promises demand progress to accommodate a growing population.
- Role of Medicine in Society: The text proposes using the medical profession as a guiding force for societal well-being, emphasizing their impartiality and trustworthiness.
The ID Card
Despite searching the UN archives, there is no information on Jean Smith’s brief work at the Secretary-General’s office. To resolve this, I’ve sought assistance and shared all relevant details and photos.
Here is the reply of the United Nations Archive in Geneva from Aug 2, 2023.
Thank you for your request, and to send us the legitimation card of the League of Nations. Indeed, Ms Jean Smith was part of the temporary staff of the League, as a stenographer during the 3rd Assembly of the League of Nations in 1922. Unfortunately, we do not have any other information such as her birthdate, her address, etc…. I have not found any copy of the letter in the League of Nations archives collection. J.O. – United Nations Archives at Geneva -“
FAQ Passport History 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?
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 😉
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...
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