Your guide to Paris, in 1906

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As well as my obsession with travel, I also have a passion for history.  Imagine my delight when at a boot sale the other day I stumbled across this guidebook to Paris from 1906, published by Thos. Cook & Son, the early incarnation of travel agency Thomas Cook.

Cook's Guide to Paris, 1906. It might be a little tatty, but it's looking good for 108 years old!
Cook’s Guide to Paris, 1906. It might be a little tatty, but it’s looking good for 108 years old!

Many a smile has been brought to my face while reading its gems about one of my favourite cities of the world, harking back to the the days of travelling to Paris by boat as the only option, when horse drawn ‘omnibuses’ were the main form of transport, and hotels were celebrated for having electric light. I am sure that some of you might be interested in this too, so thought I would share some snapshots of the contents.

Travel times from London to Paris have reduced dramatically. Thanks for that Eurostar!
Travel times from London to Paris have reduced dramatically. Thanks for that Eurostar!
Note the final sentence. Tauchnitz editions were English language paperbacks published in Germany and bought by tourists. The publisher, Bernhard Tauchnitz paid for the European loyalties and the books were not allowed to be taken in the UK or USA.
Note the final sentence. Tauchnitz editions were English language paperbacks published in Germany and bought by tourists. The publisher, Bernhard Tauchnitz paid for the European loyalties and the books were not allowed to be taken in the UK or USA.
What do think of the services offered by Parisian hotels circa 1906?
What do think of the services offered by Parisian hotels circa 1906?
Villainous - a word you don't expect to see in a guidebook. Great application here!
Villainous – a word you don’t expect to see in a guidebook. Great application here!
Note the final sentence. A sign of changing times...
Note the final sentence. A sign of changing times…
Gas lighting was still commonplace
Gas lighting was still commonplace
It sounds like the Champs-Élysées was busy even in 1906!
It sounds like the Champs-Élysées was busy even in 1906!
The Eiffel Tower might be open, but the Champ de Mars is still just sand and buildings from the exhibition of 1900.
The Eiffel Tower might be open, but the Champ de Mars is still just sand and buildings from the exhibition of 1900.
The Sacré-Coeur  is still under construction, not to be opened until 1914.
The Sacré-Coeur is still under construction, not to be opened until 1914.
A great insight into common items on the menu.
A great insight into common items on the menu.
Hotels advertise every modern comfort...
Hotels advertise every modern comfort…
And if you want a car, then this company can help you find the latest model (as pictured) :-)
And if you want a car, then this company can help you find the latest model (as pictured) 🙂

I think you would agree – some brilliant insights into both tourism and Paris over a century ago. Let me know your favourite point!

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