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Thomas Cook, John Cook, and the Rise of the Tourism Industry

2019-07-08 | 🔗

Thomas Cook and his son John Mason Cook were pioneers of the idea of a travel agency to manage tourist holidays. But Thomas Cook was initially motivated by his support of the temperance movement and his deeply held religious beliefs. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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bring me when we are on our trip to paris which was but as a package about how package shrivels ivf because his work i often found myself marvelling at the people who managed our troops are defined destinations where is handling the needs of fifty people who all had differing desires and internal clocks and whatnot as we wandered around in a foreign country and sometimes people got lost and they always manage to find them and i was just i marvel at the whole concept so that make me start to think about how this whole thing began and as i dug it did not take very long defined the person that most people point you and say this is a person who started it but i want surprise because the man most often referenced as the father of the modern travel industry was inspired not by some deep seated yearn to go out and explore the world but it was
more inspired by his support of the temperance movement and his deeply held religious beliefs so today we are talking about thomas cook but we are also about his son john mason cook travellers in the uk in particular are probably well acquainted with the cook name is now dna one of the largest travel agencies in the world if not the largest but their family were really pioneers of this idea of a travel agents to manage tourist holidays and put together packages that can be sold for of your needs to be attended to and used by are one thing and then it's taken care of you
start that way that happened incrementally before he got to the by your one thing idea but it really you do see the progression of how this concept started and how it it started to add on different pieces until it became package travel time s cook was born on november twenty second eighteen o eight in darbyshire england its parents john and elizabeth cook were very poor and john worked as a laborer died when thomas was just four years old elizabeth remarried to james smith third not long after johns death thomas's formal education was rather brief he attended school
only until the age of ten and at that point he started working as a helper to an estate gardener and he worked in that position for four years at which point he became a cabinet tree apprentice under his uncle john peg when young thomas became an apprentice he also switched religious denominations up until the age of fourteen thomas had attended a methodist sunday school and that was intended to offer a little bit of a supplemental education since he had to go to work full time to help the family and i was a common pattern and schools in england during this time were intended to offer children a small amount of ongoing education after they were required to join the workforce yeah very different i think from what we might think of a sunday school today not as much i mean certainly there was religious study involved but it was also literally like sort of a standard education that was getting conveyed
but though he had been attending methodist sunday school for four years at fourteen thomas started attending a baptist sunday school john pang his new person that he was apprentices under was a baptist so that may have had summoned what's in the switch but thomas's mother also wanted her son to change churches it appears the thomas was very diligent in his studies that this new school and he eventually started teaching there he was eventually named it superintendent he hadn't been baptized yet though that didn't happen until february of one thousand eight hundred and twenty six when he was seventeen yeah that kind of ties into that idea that sunday school is not the way we would think of sunday school in like modern america free sample it really was not quite the same deal i only know catechism which is different than other religions sunday school so i'm sure i have a very different comes after all thing works
cooks religious devotion eventually supplanted his work in cabinet tree after five years as his uncles apprentice he left that job behind to become a missionary and his new job consisted of travelling from town to town in rural england in each town he would distribute literature give sermons and set up a sunday school there he got paid their six pounds annually for the job and that amount was throttled back as he started to receive aid from the people that he ministered to while travelling with his work the twenty year old cook met a young woman named marianne mason another sunday school teacher who was a year older than thomas thomas and marianne were sweethearts for four years before they got me on march second eighteen thirty three thousand other thing that made me chuckle in some of the biographical right up of him people will take what a long courtship that was where its again in the modern era that so much
not only did thomas's bachelor status change to that of husband in eighteen thirty three he also change jobs he returned to carpentry is job as a missionary had ended because the church could no longer fund his salary so he moved with marianne to market harborough and open up a shop on january 13th one thousand eight hundred and thirty four they welcome to son john mason cook and one thousand eight hundred and thirty five they had another child named henry but the second son died while still a baby they didn't have any more children until the mid 1840s when their daughter annie was born in eighty thirty six the cooks took a strong stand for temperance they felt that liquor was causing all manner of social problems this is pretty popularly circulated idea at the time they decided that they wanted to lead by example in their own lives so they both signed a pledge of temperance and they also vowed that no one who worked for them would have access to alcohol while on their property but thomas was not content to do just that he's
it really throwing his time in his efforts into promoting temperance in the latter half of the eighteen thirties cook least back to his preaching days at this time he started to preach the importance of temperance and the dangers of alcohol he wrote and distributed pamphlets with these same messages he also started setting up recreational events that were alcohol free they were social gatherings called rational recreation where the activities were wholesome and the hardest liquid serve was ginger beer he also founded a periodical called the children's temperance magazine one thousand eight hundred and forty and it was cook's temperance efforts and his desire to put together activities that would offer fun and socializing without alcohol that led him to start setting up travel activities in june of eighteen forty one while he was walking to a temperance meeting in leicester near his home he had a bolt of inspiration he realized that developments in transportation that had been
part of the industrial revolution and in particular railroads could be used to spread the word about temperance farther than ever before he was walking through a meeting in leicester when he had this idea and when he got the air cook outlined as planned the attendees he pitched the plan that they would hire a trains fifthly to get their members to another meeting farther away the next month everybody thought this was a great idea so he reached out to the middle and railway to try to make them amendments and they were completely open to it so on july fifth of eighteen forty one just a month ago he had his idea thomas let a group of five hundred members of the temperance movement on a trip was a train ride from lester two left for us to attend a meeting in a lecture there and each time be paid a shilling for the trip that was arranged by cook and this trip went very very smoothly and its success let cook to plan for more i just want to say five hundred people is a lot of people
a lot of people i mentioned at the top of the show how i marveled at managing fifty people on a trip five hundred seems bananas to bolster the whole enterprise cook wanted to be in a bigger city to have greater access to travel resources so to that end he and his family moved to lester the temperance and baptist community there was much larger and he was also able to expand his business with are you using these businesses to promote temperance he started printing temperance literature in his own print shop and he also opened a bookstore to sell that literature in he also print and sold guide books and almanacs through this system and next he opened to temperance hotels the first in darby was managed by his mother elizabeth and his wife marianne manage the second which was in leicester coming apple talk about how time of transition from wrangling groups of temperance supporters to managing travel as a business but first we pause for thought
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britain's apply not available in all areas requires residential those banks that any actual savings variant are not guaranteed for its many mobile broadband disclosures daddy toby toby direction indeed outcomes less mobile thomas cook had since that first rail trap from lester two left burrow in eighteen forty one continued to arrange trips for temperance orders to attend meetings and share their ideology throughout england but in eighteen forty five he decided to action make a business out of it running tours for profit he had really good network of contacts within the railways at this point and he had already made a name for himself as an efficient and trustworthy organiser of group excursions so starting this enterprise from a very strong position cooks first for profit itinerary went to liverpool with starting points for travel
where's that lester darby in nottingham this included excursions to contravene and a hike up mouth snowden he was conscious of the fact that even on his previous temperance we entered trips for a lot of people travelling it was a really new experience and to that end he produced a handbook for the three hundred fifty people on this liverpool tour offering them both practical advice and encouragement to abstain from drank while enjoying the journey this handbook was the first of many he assembled them for all of us tours after this point first class tickets cost fifteen shillings and second class was ten shillings travellers could also then to a steamer creatures said north wales for an additional fee the liverpool tour was a far more ambitious project than any of thomas cooks temperance trips had been but it went well so well the cook started to set its sights on expanding to new destinations
and he decided after he had done some of these liverpool trips that the next excursion he wanted to offer would go to scotland the scotland tour was scheduled for the summer of eighteen forty six than it was thomas cooks first real flop since he started planning group travel the several hundred people who had booked had been told that they would be able to disembark from the train they were on when it made stops along the way to the coasts and there they were going to board a steamer to scotland but it turned out that train passengers were not allowed to get off and on it stops the train also didn't have bathrooms and it didn't offer food service so by the time the troop got to the coast they were already miserable the next leg of the trip was aboard the steamer are dross in which was also a problem cook had booked more people than there were cabins there appears to have been a miscommunication between him and the steamer so some of the group had a hang out on the deck and they got drenched in a storm they came along while they made this crossing by once the group
arrived in scotland they were warmly welcomed with marching bands and other fanfare and from that point it seems to have gone ok reviews of this tour were unsurprisingly unkind part of the criticism was thomas cooks unrelenting devotion to temperance which he preached to all his tour groups this summer of problems caused a temporary halt ticks travel business he was also seeing new competitors emerge in the publishing market some of whom were print books and pamphlets on temperance as well yes so he had he had kind of planned on this this travel thing going well and it started well and then was in and then the other area of the market that he had cornered was suddenly having some competitors need just kind of needed to regroup so he slowly rebuilt his business over the next couple of years in eighteen forty eight he was once again up and running with his tours publishing and his temperance hotels the next couple of years that he launched successful tours to scotland and ireland and then a new
maternity presented itself to cook in the form of the great exposition of eighteen fifty one which has made numerous appearances on the podcast over the years cook booked travel arrangements for more than a hundred and fifty thousand people to go to the great exposition to bolster as travel business he also started publishing the periodical slash travel catalogue cooks exhibition harold and excursion advertiser this effort to create exposition tours was incidentally made it the urging of previous podcast subject and crystal palace architect sir joseph paxton to hoped that cook would make it possible for the workers outside of london to see the hall paxton remained a supporter of cooks work long after the exposition and cooks exhibition harold was later published under the name cooks excursions list and after the great expo tommy
cook built his offerings up to meet new levels of demand because he had become very well known or claiming all of those trips he started offering an assortment of trips that travellers could choose from throughout england ireland whales in scotland these were not you know it all inclusive tours cooks agency booked travel and outlined itineraries and provided guide books but tourists were responsible for booking their own lodging and getting their own food and as his travel business grew thomas cook ceased operation of his printing efforts so that he could focus more on tourism he still printed guidebooks but he was a running his own print shop after a decade of growth and expansion within his established roots cook expanded his offerings to a wider range of destinations on the european continent this was in part because as tourism scotland ran into a problem which is that the rail companies in scotland stopped offering him discounted group rates for the trains and so too
spanned into this new phase of business cook did two things first he open another office in london similar to the reasons that he moved to lester this shift to london offered greater resources and more access to a wider clientele and second he started creating more comprehensive bookings ones the did include lodging in meals as well as railroad travel and channel crossings in eighteen fifty five thomas cook mounted his first european continental tour to coincide with another exposition beside the exposition universal in paris this trip hit a lot of other spots before landing at the ex better though from england the group travelled to antwerp brussels cologne heidelberg and strasbourg before finishing in paris
in addition to begin the trip is a comprehensive package he also offered a currency exchange service to his travellers yet this point he was offering literally like full service travel by the fall of eighteen sixty three cook had booked travel to switzerland for an estimated five hundred tourists into france for about two thousand the rapid growth of his expanded offerings led to cook being nicknamed the
holy him of excursions and before long a cooks tour became synonymous with guided tourist experiences in eighteen sixty five the business shifted once again this time because cooks son john mason cook started working for the firm full time over the next six years john helped his father expand the company significantly so the by eighteen seventy one there were three offices for the firm in england each with a full staff john was made partner that year and the firm became thomas cook and son john had been highly instrumental in getting cooks company into booking travel across the atlantic and he had streamline the way the business rans make everything more efficient but even so john had been really reelected to step into the road
of partner after the popularity of thomas cookin sons offering for travel to france in switzerland the firm started offering tours to italy as well as we mention john helped to get it across the atlantic so a united states itinerary was soon made available and then they offer trips to egypt and israel and as cooks trap agency entered the eighteen seventies he was as always thinking bigger in terms of where he could go the advertisements for the company at this point read a cooks ticket brings the world to you and thomas cook seemed really intent on delivering on that promise it was this attitude that led him to offer the first ever round the world tourist itinerary it was ambitious but cook was driven by has religious faith just as much as any business ambition he wanted to continue to share his religious views
show people the world simultaneously believing that in doing so he would help promote global peace to that end he travelled along with his clients on the companies first round the world excursion which ran from eighteen seventy two eighteen seventy three it took two hundred twenty two days and his being there was possible in part because he had done to manage the offices back home but despite trusting john to handle a lot of the business thomas and his son had problems we're gonna get into that after we take a break in here from one of the sponsors that keeps stuff you missed in history class going when you use zoom every day is a little better that's pretty good
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thomas and john cook did not always agree on how their business should run even though john was made a partner in this ultimately cause serious problems there are i read some historians that suggested that like the two of them at such different approaches that they would have been terribly complimentary if it weren't for the fact that they were continuously budding heads well tolerance was shepherding that first world to or for example john settled the firms main off his into a new fancier and more expensive location when thomas the travel agency started a business partnership with an american partner and that turn disastrous the idea was combining their efforts with the business interests on the other side of the atlantic was going to bolster travel bookings from north amerika to europe and vice versa but that did not work out over the next several years
thomas and john were increasingly at odds and the u s partnership bela part which added even more strange the relationship even if they successfully moved on to new ventures including offering cruises they didn't seem to celebrate as much they seem to argue and the main issue between them was that they just fell completely differently as i said about how their business should run thomas always dreamed big in terms of trips but he wasn't especially concerned with turning huge profits as long as they were making some profit is the glee seemed to just one enough to provide for his family and then don't aim pretty generously to the various charities that he supported john on the other hand envisioned much grander things he we believe that they could be much more financially lucrative any thought that his father's approach to business was to soften inefficient and that is there was a little bit of a billy dreamer
nationally john wanted thomas to keep his religious and temperance views out of their tours and maintain those interests as personal matters not business this strife between thomas and john wasn't exactly knew it has basically been there ever since john was young there was a time is a very young man just out of school when john had worked and thomas's print shop and had worked on some of the tourists but the two of them have bedded head so often that john left to work for a railway company even when john returned to work for his father in eighteen sixty five it had been because we had a wife and a child support not because the two of them actually wanted to work together sings eventually came to a head and one thousand eight hundred and seventy eight and father and son had a massive fight
the end result although we don't have details on how exactly this decision was reached was thomas removed himself from the business entirely he moved full time back to lester where he had built a large house any just lead john run things as he wished but their relationship was damaged beyond repair as the firm was transitioning and leadership from father to son john established a new department at the firm foreign banking and money exchange and then through this division the company started issuing credit notes for travellers which evolved into travellers checks this proved to be a very lucrative enterprise that makes travellers checks older than i imagined this yeah lighting error first calling them circular checks and yet they eventually set this up again john i mean was very smart about business and his father was very smart about putting the other compelling tours and if they could just have lived in harmony they probably could have done
even more amazing things than they did john also started selecting new destinations for the firm including india new zealand and australia the new zealand and australia tours made plenty of money india had not so much john also negotiated government contracts for thomas cookin son so when england centre forced to relieve major general charles george gordon who had become embroiled in a conflict with the body of sudan in the city of khartoum against the government's wishes that trip was managed by thomas cookin son incidentally that relief effort arrive too late gordon stronghold had fallen and he had already been killed that is a whole other potential podcast episode under john mason cook the firm also transported indian royalty to london to celebrate the queen's too
to believe in what seemed initially like a move his father would have made john also assisted in the transport of muslim pilgrims to mecca eventually though even though this is part of a mission initialized by the british government's india office cooks bears were too high that he lended thomas and his wife marianne lived in his retirement during which he was getting a pension from his son with their daughter annie who had never married and two year after they moved into the house that was called thorn craft that was that large house at thomas had built in leicester there is a tragic ass when amy died in her bathtub the gas fumes from a new heater were determined to have been the cause and thomas wife marianne died for years later in eighteen eighty four thomas cook continues life quietly outside of the company he continued to travel and to work with the church than the temperance movement did eventually loses sight in eighteen ninety one thomas cookin son celebrated the company silver do believe thomas did not attend
although it is unknown whether that was his choice perhaps because his health was not great or because his son did not want him there the firm celebrated their immense success without their founder at that point the cup had eighty four offices in more than twenty five hundred employees and the first in line to run things were johns three sons although john continued to head things up for a while and he even expanded the company once again to include a fleet of mergers that offered neo river cruises john make a move the seemed a little bit more like something his father would have done when he paid for a hospital to be built in egypt the year after that companies celebration thomas died that was on july eighteen eighteen ninety two he had had a stroke he was buried in leicester on july twenty second as the bitch weary in the times referred to him in jail
when is the julius and augustus caesar of travel thomas his will was at odds with his existing worse at the time of his death is a state was worth roughly two thousand five hundred lbs but the amount that he bequeathed in his will was four thousand two hundred and twenty five lb which is the un's puzzling over what exactly happened to the great fortune that he had made and while he was very generous throughout his life believing that it was his duty as a religious man to help others in mean for example he had arranged everything from soup kitchen to the building of cod just for the poor over the years there is a lot of puzzling over how exactly he ended up with so little john didn't even break stride in terms of business after his father died he had become very much a social climber and whenever any royalty books travel with the firm he personally escorted them during their journey when the first modern olympic games took place in athens and eighty nine
six john made sure that the cook firm was their travel partner in eighteen ninety eight wallace gordon keyser wilhelm the second on a trip to the holy land john cook became ill most likely would dysentery and no john returned home he continued to be unwell for several months leading up to his death on march sixth eighteen ninety nine john funds frank earnest and bert took over the travel agency in its many offices and the company continued to flourish they kept printing the excursion ist although the name was changed to travellers gazette and a nineteen eighteen they became the first uk travel agent to offer air bookings thomas cooks grandson sold the business and nineteen twenty eight to a belgian firm for three point five million pounds farmer cook started still exists under the name thomas cook although in recent times it has had some struggles in may of this year which is twenty nineteen the guardian reported that the company lost one
point five billion euros due to breaks it uncertainty bore cancelling trips because i didn't know is going to happen next and then a few weeks later reports hidden in the news that frozen international that's the chinese conglomerate than owns club med was interested in purchasing the company and the company was talking with them still a junior seemed article in travel weekly announced plans for the thomas cook company to open to new hotels in egypt and the day before we recorded this but a little while before you will hear it they amounts their move their digital marketing office to manchester from london and new efforts to
at their airline division so regardless of what happens next to the company that bears his name it was really thomas cook that set the stage for the industry of tourism as we know it today whenever he selected a destination as an offering it became a standard vacation spot for his clients and this way he planted the seeds of this industry which now drives the economies of many countries and many individual places within countries yeah it's really fast need to think about like he would basically say like i think we should start going to switzerland and people would start going to switzerland and then towns that he went to in switzerland would be like we have a booming tourist economy we should court tourism and like bats cycle would happen over and over and over in many ways he really ended up kind of shifting the way that that various areas managed their their economics because that again tourism is big business
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-09.