By 1850, Britain’s growing prosperity had given rise to a new type of middle-class traveler. Young gentlemen were replaced by honeymooners and by families with children, who took advantage of improved rail services that whisked them across Europe. New services quickly arose to coordinate the complexities of foreign train and steamship schedules with hotel reservations. In 1851 a completely new travel industry was born through the marketing insights of Thomas Cook, a cabinetmaker by trade who had organized local tours for the temperance movement in the English midlands. Cook initially restricted his business to the British Isles, making travel affordable for working-class families by negotiating group rates for hotels and low excursion fares for trains. However, single young women appreciated the safety-in-numbers of group tours and soon comprised the majority of Cook’s clients. In the 1860s Cook branched out to European tours. His successful business model eventually gave rise to the present-day budget travel industry. In the nineteenth century, Americans on the Grand Tour circuit usually began their journey in England, with London as the primary destination. The market still catered to the male traveler as shown in this plan of London sized to fit a man’s waistcoat pocket. Britain offered American travelers the familiarity of language and customs allowing them time to acclimate before crossing the Channel to the foreign-speaking countries of Europe. With the advent of World War I in August 1914, the date of this London bus company map and schedule, European tourist travel ground to a halt. The Grand Tour would never be the same again, when travel resumed after the War.
George Philip & Son.
(London, 1910). 52x61 cm.
Thomas Cook & Son.
Map of Cook’s Tours in Central Europe
(London, 1881). 45x33 cm.
McCorquodale & Co. (1846-1937)
London & North Western and Caledonian Railways Map of England and Wales
(Glasgow, 1911). 74x49 cm.
Thomas Cook & Son.
Map of Cook’s Tours in Ireland, Cook’s Tours in Scotland & England
(New York, ). Each 33x47 cm.
London General Omnibus Company.
L.G.O. Co. Map
(London, 1914). 29x46 cm.