Author(s): Burton Holmes
In a time before air travel or radio, on the brink of a revolution in photography and filmmaking, Burton Holmes (1870-1958) set upon a lifelong journey to bring the world home. From the grand boulevards of Paris to China's Great Wall, from the first modern Olympics in Athens to the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Holmes delighted in finding "the beautiful way around the world" and made a career of sharing his stories, photographs, and films with audiences across America. As a young man, Holmes was mentored by John L. Stoddard, a pioneer of the U.S. travel lecture circuit, who passed on his well-established mantle when he retired. Holmes roamed the globe throughout the summer and traversed the United States all winter, transforming the staid lecture tradition into an entertaining show. He coined the term "Travelogue" in 1904 to advertise his unique performance and thrilled audiences with two-hour sets of stories timed to projections of hand-painted glass-lantern slides and some of the first "moving pictures." Paris, Peking, Delhi, Berlin, Moscow, Manila, Jakarta, Jerusalem: Burton Holmes was there.