US Passport Sue Voss issued in Havana, Cuba

Sue Voss Havana Cuba

Taking dance and ballet lessons from early childhood, Sue Carolyn Voss loved to perform which carried her through to a professional career. She attended grammar school in Linwood, NJ and graduated high school in 1947. While still in high school she performed in Special Services for the wounded WW2 military at the England General Hospital in Atlantic City. After graduation, she traveled to New York City to attend the Feagin School of Dramatic Art at Rockefeller Center.

After graduating from there she did radio drama, stage plays, and a dance partner became the dance team of Johnny Weissmuller (the favorite TARZAN in the movies) Follies and Water Show. In addition to this, she was also a water ballet swimmer in the show that toured the United States and foreign countries. Leaving the show in the 1950’s she returned to Linwood, NJ and opened the Voss Theater Workshop teaching many young students to dance and perform. It was during this time she married James M. Earle II and moved to Pensacola, FL where he became a Marine pilot, later being in the presidential squadron. Sue Voss Havana Cuba

They had two children, Jaime Sue Earle, and James M. Earle III. Both are alive and well. Their father retired as Major and is now deceased. While married in the Marine Corps, Sue, being an accomplished artist, painted many murals for the Officers Club, Cadet Battalion, restaurants, and homes. In the 1960s the marriage failed and in the 1970’s she met Robert M. Lawrence, an old high school friend, rekindling their friendship and leading to a lasting marriage.  Sue entered into rest surrounded by her loving family on November 12, 2016.

I got the travel document direct from Robert. He wrote. Sue Voss Havana Cuba

“This passport was issued in 1949 to my sweetheart that later became my wife.  She was a principal performer in Johnny Weissmuller (of TARZAN fame) Watercade show of 1950. She performed in Cuba, as well as cities in Venezuela.  They also played throughout the United States and Canada.”



The document is a fantastic passport historical document because it was issued at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on March 30, 1949, and was valid only for three months. Assuming it was an emergency passport. The passport is showing Sue as a 20 years young pretty girl. There are visas for Venezuela including revenue stamps. The passport is in excellent condition and has 48 pages. The USA and Cuba had no diplomatic relationships for 54 years, between 1961-2015! Hence, US passports issued in Cuba are pretty rare.

Sue Voss Havana Cuba

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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...