US Philippines Island Booklet 1929, Gov. Davis

Passport No. 26352, United States of America, Philippine Islands. 32-page passport booklet in excellent condition. Issued to “William W. Herndon, Soldier, U. S. Army, traveling on official duty, U. S. Army. The bearer is accompanied by his wife, Madge Herndon.” Includes b/w photo of the couple, official embossed stamps, rubber stamps, and seals. Signed in hand by Dwight F. Davis as Governor-General of the Philippines (July 8, 1929 – January 9, 1932) under Herbert Hoover. “Given under my hand and the seal of the Philippine Islands at Manila, September 30, 1929.”

US Philippines Island Booklet

Dwight Filley Davis Sr. (1879 -1945) was an American tennis player and politician. Best remembered as the founder of the Davis Cup international tennis competition. He was a member of the U.S. team that won the first two competitions in 1900 and 1902, serving as Captain of the 1900 team. Davis had been the runner-up at the U.S. Championships in 1898 and then won the men’s doubles title (with Holcombe Ward) in 1899, 1900, and 1901 and was a men’s doubles runner-up at Wimbledon in 1901. He participated in the 1904 Summer Olympics. He was eliminated in the second round of the singles tournament. He and his partner Ralph McKittrick lost in the quarter-finals in the doubles tournament. U.S. Philippines Island Booklet

Davis was the Assistant Secretary of War from 1923 to 1925 and Secretary of War from 1925 to 1929. U.S. Philippines Island Booklet

His daughter Alice Brooks Davis was married to the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Roger Makins. Another daughter, Cynthia Davis, was married to banker William McChesney Martin, Jr, the longest-serving Federal Reserve director (1951–1970) who served under five presidents (Truman to Nixon).

“Madge Herndon – Her home was at N357 Marita st., rt. 8, Spokane. She was survived by her husband, William W. Herndon, U. S. A. warrant officer at Geiger field; 4 sisters, Mrs. Alice Wood of Honolulu, Hawaii; 3 other sisters and one brother, all in England. Funeral Sat. March 14, at the Ball & Dodd Funeral Home, Inc., Jefferson st. at 4th ave. The Geiger field chaplain will officiate. Interment Ft. George Wright military post cemetery.” – Obituary in The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, March 13, 1942. U.S. Philippines Island Booklet

Davis was one of the last Governor-General in this post. US-Philippine Island passports have been issued by a Governors-General only from April 7, 1903, to November 14, 1935. This is, however, the first booklet I ever saw, and it comes in excellent condition. Passports of the United States of America – Commonwealth of the Philippines- were issued until 1946, when the Philippines became independent. 

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FAQ Passport History
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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...