Around the World in Seventy-Two Days, by Nellie Bly

Chapter 18.

The Record.

I STARTED from Hoboken, on my trip, around the world, November 14, 1889. I finished it in Jersey, January 25, 1890. The itinerary of my trip, published the morning I started, and the itinerary as I found it, were as follows:

Nov. 14–Leave New York by Augusta Victoria, 9.30 a.m. Nov. 14–Left New York via Augusta Victoria.
“ 21–Due Southampton. London by rail in three hours.  
“ 22–Leave Victoria Station, London, 8 p.m., on India Mail “ 22–2.30 a.m. Arrived Southhampton-London
“ 22–10.00 a.m. Left London, Charing Cross Station
“ 23–Calais, Paris and Turin “ 23–1.30 a.m. Left Calais
“ 24–Brindisi at 10.14 p.m.  
“ 25–Leave Brindisi, steamship Cathay, 9 a.m. “ 25–1.30 a.m. Arrived Brindisi.
3.00 a.m. Left Brindisi, steamship Victoria
“ 27–Ismallia. “ 27–3.30 p.m. Arrived Port Said.
  “ 28–11.00 a.m. Arrived Ismallia, 9.00 p.m. Suez.
Dec. 3–Aden. Dec. 3–11.00 Arrived Aden.
“ 10–Colombo (Ceylon). “ 8–11.00 a.m. Arrived Colombo (Ceylon).
“ 16–Penang. “ 16–7.00 a.m. Arrived Penang.
“ 18–Singapore. “ 18–5.00 a.m. Arrived Singapore.
“ 25–Hong Kong. “ 25–7.00 a.m. Arrived Hong Kong.
“ 28–Leave Hong Kong for Yokohama, Japan. “ 28–2.30 p.m. Left Hong Kong for Yokohama.
Jan. 7–Leave Yokohama, via Pacific Mail Steamship. Jan. 7–10.55 a.m. Left Yokohama via Occidental and Oriental Steamship.
“ 22–Due San Francisco. “ 21–8.00 a.m. Arrived San Francisco
  “ 23–7.05 a.m. Arrived Chicago.
“ 27–Due New York. “ 25–3.51 p.m. Arrived New York.
Nov. 14 to Jan. 27-seventy-five days. Nov. 14 to Jan. 25–Seventy-two days.

 

  Miles Hours Traveling Hours Delayed
Hoboken to Southampton 3,041 184 50 50
To London 90 2 15 14 25 *
“ Brindisi 1,450 53 30 1 30
“ Port Said 930 62 30 3 30
“ Aden 1,394 110 6
“ Colombo 2,093 138 98 05
“ Penang 1,278 89 55 7
“ Singapore 381 39 11
“ Hong Kong 1,437 111 127 20
“ Yokohama 1,597 131 40 104 55
“ San Francisco 4,525 333 05  
“ Chicago 2,573 71 05 2 55
“ Jersey City 951 29 51  
  21,740 1356 41 377 30

Total time occupied in tour, 1,734 hours and 11 minutes, being 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes.

Average rate of speed per hour, exclusive of stops, 22.47 miles.

Average rate of speed, including stops, 28.71 miles per hour.

The names of the steamers and the different routes by which I traveled were the “Augusta Victoria” of the Hamburg American Steamship Line, the London and South Western Railway, the South Eastern Railway, the India Mail, the “Victoria” and the “Oriental” of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Line, the “Oceanic,” of the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Line, the Southern Pacific Railway, the Atlantic and Pacific Railway, the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fé Railway and the Pennsylvania Railway.

I spent 56 days 12 hours and 41 minutes in actual travel and lost by delay 15 days 17 hours and 30 minutes.

The second table shows the miles traveled, hours spent in traveling and hours delayed. The “hours delayed” marked by a star shows the time spent in diverging from my original line of travel to visit M. and Mme. Jules Verne at Amiens. I traveled 179-1/2 miles out of my way to visit the great novelist which is not considered in my number of miles traveled, nor do I count the miles traveled at the ports where I was detained, which taken together would not fall short of 1,500 miles.

Up to date, my trip is the fastest on record between San Francisco and Chicago. One run was 250 miles in 250 minutes, and that, counting the minutes lost stopping at a half dozen different towns. Another run was 59 miles in 50 minutes. Between Topeka and Kansas City we ran 13 miles in 11 minutes. Later we ran a mile in 53 seconds, and again 26 miles in 23 minutes. We made 2,566 miles in 69 hours, which is the fastest time, I am informed, that has been made for this distance. Although the Sante Fe route is over 500 miles longer than the Union Pacific, we beat the time of the fastest mail to Chicago by ten hours. If we had had the same distance to travel we would have beaten it twenty-four hours. The Santa Fé had only one day to prepare for my trip, and yet everything was perfect. They tell me when the Palmer-Jarrett “Across the Continent” trip was made they had been preparing for it for six months in advance, and when the start was made a flagman was posted at every switch and crossing between New York and San Francisco, and yet without any preparations my train traveled 500 miles farther and beat their time by 24 hours.

It is not possible to quote my fares and expenses as a criterion for prospective tourists, as I was traveling for a newspaper, and what it cost is their secret. Not counting the extra train, if first-class tickets had been bought from New York to New York it would only have cost $805. By using economy, outside expenses should not exceed $300.

On my tour I traversed the following waters: North River, New York Bay, Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, Straits of Bab el Mandeb, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Straits of Malacca, China Sea, Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay.

I visited or passed through the following countries: England, France, Italy, Egypt, Japan, the United States, and the following British possessions: Aden, Arabia; Colombo, Isle of Ceylon; Penang, Prince of Wales Island; Singapore, Malay Peninsula; and the Island of Hong Kong.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31