Monday, February 27
Six Stories of Stunning Passports From Countries That No Longer Exist
"British Palestine. The USSR. The Free State of Fiume. History is rife with states that simply didn’t make it: ones, thanks to the precariousness of politics, that eventually switched names, changed hands, or disappeared altogether. Tom Topol has been collecting passports for 14 years, and runs the website passport-collector.com, a repository of travel documents through the ages. Topol first became fascinated by old passports after a chance encounter with some at a flea market in Kyoto, Japan. 'Today our passports are uniform,' he says, 'but look at an old passport [from the] 19th century—at that time they were really some kind of art.' He has spent last decade and a half learning everything he can about the politics and geography of historical passports, as well as digging into the stories of individual booklets and their bearers. ..."