Travel, Passports and Borders

Travel Passport Borders19th Century

In the 19th century, the concept of border control was much more relaxed compared to today. Border control was often performed by local officials who would check the traveler’s identification and permit entry into the country. There were fewer restrictions on who could enter and exit a country, and travelers were often able to cross borders with minimal inspection and paperwork, as long as they had a basic form of identification, such as a passport. Travel Passport Borders

German-French border, early 20th century
German-French border, early 20th century

However, the lack of a standardized system for border control and passport issuance caused some problems. Travelers often had to obtain multiple passports from different countries in order to cross borders, and there was no consistent method for verifying a traveler’s identity. This created opportunities for fraud and abuse and made it difficult for countries to keep track of who was entering and exiting their borders.

In addition to border control, travel itself was much more challenging in the 19th century. The most common mode of travel was by horse-drawn carriage, which could take days or even weeks to reach a destination. This made travel expensive and often reserved for the wealthy. The limited transportation options also made it difficult for people to travel long distances, limiting the number of people who could participate in international travel. Travel Passport Borders

Tourism And Travel Travel Passport Borders

Despite the challenges, travel was still popular, and the 19th century saw an increase in tourism and adventure as people sought to explore new lands and cultures. The development of steamships and trains allowed people to travel further and faster, making it possible for more people to embark on adventures and expand their horizons.

Thomas Cook thought railway trips could be used for social reform; an advert for an early excursion
Thomas Cook thought railway trips could be used for social reform; an advert for an early excursion

In the 21st century, the landscape of border control and passports has changed dramatically. Borders are now heavily fortified, and border control measures are much stricter, largely due to security concerns and the rise of global terrorism. Today’s travelers must provide a passport, undergo biometric scans, and may face lengthy wait times, inspections, and interrogations. The use of technology, such as facial recognition software and biometric databases, has also become more prevalent in border control processes.

Passports have also evolved and become more sophisticated. Modern passports are now machine-readable and contain biometric information, such as fingerprints and facial scans, to ensure greater security. Electronic visa systems have also been introduced, allowing travelers to apply for visas online and streamlining the border control process. Travel Passport Borders

German passport history
German passport, Type 2017, current version


In conclusion, the 19th century was a time of relative freedom of movement, with open borders and less stringent border control measures. While travel was more challenging and less convenient than it is today, the spirit of exploration and adventure was still very much alive, and the 19th century set the stage for the more streamlined and sophisticated travel experiences we have today.

The border of the 21st century moves away from the borderline and spatially reaches far beyond the national container.
Sorting Machines of Globalization: The Redefinition of Border – Keesing Platform (

new generation of biometric automated secunet easygates
New generation of biometric automated secunet easygates


Very rare passport for the Second Vatican Council |