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Olive Oliver's World Tour - United States of America 1911
Image: Booklet - 'California for the Tourist'
Source: Museum Victoria
In 1911 Miss Olive Oliver, a wealthy 32 year old woman from Melbourne, embarked on a round-the-world tour of the United States of America, Britain and Europe. Olive travelled with her father, William Oliver, her brother, William Donald ('Don'), and her friend, Gretta Nicolls. Throughout the trip, Olive kept a travel diary and collected brochures, postcards, menus, concert programs and maps from the places she visited. Museum Victoria has acquired these items as well as Olive's large wooden sea chest, and together these make up the Olive Oliver collection.
Olive's tour began when she left Melbourne on 9 March 1911 on a train to Sydney from where, two days later, she set sail for Vancouver, Canada on the S.S. Makura. With only one stop at Fiji on 20 March 1911 and another at Honolulu on 26 March 1911, the three week voyage was largely spent on board the ship. Olive passed the time playing quoits and shovel board on deck, listening to concerts in the saloon, and attending a fancy dress ball.
Olive arrived in Vancouver on 3 April 1911 and after a few days travelled on to Seattle, USA arriving on 6 April 1911. From there, the itinerary for the USA encompassed San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Del Monte, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Grand Canyon, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Boston, New York and Washington. Olive enjoyed many popular activities of the visiting tourist - she watched sunrise over Mirror Lake at Yosemite National Park, motored to the old Spanish missions near Santa Barbara, lunched on a rock overhanging the Grand Canyon, crossed beneath the Niagara Falls aboard the 'Maid of the Mist', and visited art galleries in New York.
While travelling was not always easy - it was 'very hot and disagreeable' on the train through the Kansas desert to Chicago - Olive had time for many leisure pursuits. In the cities she often 'did the shops', had her hair done, enjoyed afternoon tea at luxurious hotels, and went to the theatre. Commonly upon arriving at a city, Olive and her travel companions would also go for a motor tour of the surrounding country side. Olive, a botany enthusiast, would regularly comment on the local plants: the 'beautiful rich brown bark' of the enormous trees near Wawona, the 'wild thyme in profusion' outside of Del Monte, and the 'gay gardens' of Santa Barbara.
The early 20th century was a time when the world was changing for women, especially middle and upper class women, as they were granted new economic and legal rights, and presented with unheralded opportunities for travel, recreation and work, and America's cities and travel destinations allowed Olive to explore these changes. She collected postcards that depicted women at work in various divisions of a large insurance company in New York, and travel brochures that featured images of the independent or 'New Woman' traveller.
If anyone has any further information about Olive Oliver, please contact the Discovery Centre at Museum Victoria.
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'Southern Pacific, Sunset Ogden & Shasta Routes' is a railway timetable issued by Southern Pacific in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. in May 1911. It details the time tables for the O ...Images: 1
'California for the Tourist', a booklet issued by Southern Pacific in California, U.S.A. in 1910, provides detailed travel information about California, the 'Land of Sunshine'. This is ...Images: 2
'California for the Tourist', a booklet issued by Southern Pacific in California, U.S.A. in 1910, provides detailed travel information about California, the 'Land of Sunshine'. This is ...Images: 1
'California, Summer Days in Winter' is a booklet issued by Oregon & Washington Railroad in California, U.S.A. in 1911. It provides information about popular Californian tourist sites, i ...Images: 1
'California the Campers' Paradise' is a booklet issued by Southern Pacific, a railroad company, in California, U.S.A. in 1911. It provides travel information about camping in California ...Images: 1
'Del Monte Guide Book' issued by Hotel Del Monte in California, U.S.A. in 1910. The guide book provides hotel guests with travel information about Del Monte and its surrounds. This is ...Images: 2
'Hamburg-American Gazette' is a newsletter focused on shipping news published by the Hamburg-American Line. This issue is Vol. XX., No.1 from October 1910. It includes articles on the b ...Images: 1
'Hotel Del Portal, Yosemite' is a booklet issued in 1911 by the Hotel Del Portal, the 'Gateway' to Yosemite National Park in California, U.S.A. The booklet provides travel information a ...Images: 1
'In SEATTLE it's The New Washington' is a booklet issued by The New Washington Hotel in Seattle, U.S.A. in 1911. It provides information about, and photographs of, the New Washington Ho ...Images: 1
'Mount Vernon, Va.' is a booklet issued by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in Virginia, U.S.A. in 1910. It provides information and photographs of Mount Vernon, the home of George ...Images: 1