Combining Business and Tourism

The International Exhibition of 1862 offered the occasion for the travelers’ journey. Held in Kensington like its 1851 precursor, the exhibition presented opportunities for various nations to display their economic and technological achievements. Eliza B. Wheaton, Laban M. Wheaton, and David E. Holman rode the omnibus out from their hotel on Holborn Street to the site of the Exhibition on their first full day in London. Two days later, Holman met with an agent about registering the patent for his machine, and Laban M. Wheaton met with his bankers. While Wheaton rested in the afternoon, Holman escorted Eliza B. Wheaton to visit the National Gallery. And before the group had been in the city a full week, they traveled by rail to Luton, the center of straw hat manufacturing. They spent two and a half months in London, boarding on Sloane Street in Kensington, and combining tourism with the business of establishing residency for the patent.

Eliza Baylies Wheaton, Travel Journal, Wheaton Family Collection (MC089), Marion B. Gebbie Archives & Special Collections, Madeleine Clark Wallace Library, Wheaton College, Norton, MA.

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