Photo showing Sir Benjamin Stone leaving for Brazil

China to Brazil

In a lecture given to members of the Erdington Literary Society, titled ‘How We Can Best Employ Our Lives’ in October 1881, Sir Benjamin Stone declared that ‘nothing could give so much information in so short a time as travel.’

Stone’s travels began when he was still a young man in the late 1860s, one of his earliest journeys being to Norway and Lapland. During his first voyages in the 1860s and 1870s Stone collected commercially produced photographs. Having become a photographer himself in the 1880s, his camera was said to have been ‘his invariable, nay, inevitable companion’ throughout all his later expeditions.

Stone’s personal wealth allowed him to travel abroad – for recreation and exploration – almost every year. He embarked upon a world trip in January 1891, visiting Australia and China en route, documenting his journey with one of the early Kodak cameras. His travels took him to countries throughout Europe, the Far East, South Africa, the Americas and the Middle East and he subsequently published a number of books relating to these journeys.

‘For his beloved hobby he has braved innumerable perils and risked his safety in many territories worthy of a great cause. From China to Brazil and from Norway to Zululand, has the worthy knight travelled after negatives, scouring all the corners of the earth en route for weird and wonderful scenes worthy of his focus.’

Home Chat, 10 November 1906

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