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|(for image see http://www.americaslibrary.gov/pages/jb_0125_bly_1_e.html)
(PBS Show: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/world/index.html)
- Nellie Bly -
Born May 5, 1864 in Cochrane's Mills, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Jane Cochrane,
Bly was a journalist for the New York World who best became
known for her challenge and success at breaking the "around the world"
pace of 80 days set by Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg in the
the World in 80 Days.
coming up with the idea of trying to beat the travel time of the fictional
Fogg, she asked her publisher (the New York World, owned by
Joseph Pulitzer) to fund the journey, and she headed out on November 14,
1889. No previous special arrangements were made. During her trip she wrote
daily dispatches about her travels. Her stories were wildly popular, and
many people followed her journey closely on the map that was published
every day showing where she was. The paper, which offered a trip to Europe
to the person who could come closest to guessing her finish time, received
nearly 1,000,000 entries and circulation boomed.
Nellie Bly had already made a name for herself by exposing the deplorable conditions of an insane asylum on New York's Blackwell's Island. Bly researched the story by feigning insanity and had herself committed for ten days. Her exposé on the asylum and later reports on slum life brought about needed reforms and helped pave the way for women in journalism.
Bly "retired" from journalism after her marriage to Robert Seaman in 1895, but embarked on a new career after her husbandís death 10 years later. Taking over his failing industries, she introduced the steel barrel to the distilling process in America and made his companies a huge success. For almost 10 years, she managed two multimillion-dollar companies. More important, she recognized the value of treating her workers well. She ran her plants as social experiments, initiating physical fitness by providing gymnasiums, bowling alleys and health care, and mental fitness by providing staffed libraries to teach employees how to read and to pass examinations for diplomas so they could enjoy intellectual pursuits and improve their lives. Then, after retiring as a businesswoman, she was trapped in Europe while vacationing there as World War I broke out. She used her skills as a reporter to cover the war from the eastern front.
As a researcher, reporter, industrialist and reformer, Bly was a model
of progress and achievement for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
|Because of her connection to Jules Verne and Around
the World in 80 Days it is quite natural to add items connected
to Nellie Bly to a Jules Verne Collection.
The closest connection to Verne, must surely be the 1890's board game "Around the World with Nellie Bly"
Various autographs seen for sale:
|Lyrics of the song from which Nellie Bly took her
(the name was mis-spelled (Nellie, instead of Nelly) when she was given it as a suggestion:
Nelly Bly! Nellie Bly! Bring de broom along,
We'll sweep the kitchen clean, my dear, and hab a little song.
Poke de wood, my lady lub, And make de fire burn,
And while I take de banjo down, Just gib de mush a turn.
Heigh! Nelly Ho! Nelly, listen, lub, to me,
Nelly Bly hab a voice like de turtle dove,
Nelly Bly hab a heart warm as it can be,
Heigh! Nelly Ho! Nelly, listen, lub, to me,
Nelly Bly! Nelly Bly! Nebber, nebber sigh,
For pie is made ob punkins and de mush is made ob corn,
Heigh! Nelly Ho! Nelly! listen, lub, to me,
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News: From the Drum to the Satellite." New York: Penguin Books, 1988.