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Europe 1950s

1953 was a busy year for Herman B Wells and his motherHe and Mama Wells left on June 17 for a nearly two month tour of Europe. Their itinerary lists France, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, and England as the stops along the course of their adventure. Within a few days of arriving back in the US, they left on August 15 for yet another trip, this time to Greece, Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, and Germany. They arrived back in the US on October 18. These home movies capture brief snapshots of their time abroadClick an image to watch a movie.

On Board Queen Elizabeth

Ocean view from on board the Queen Elizabeth

Wells and his mother left New York City for Europe on the Queen Elizabeth of the Cunard Star Line, known for its luxurious transatlantic voyages. (Yes, this ship is in fact the model from which the Queen Elizabeth 2, or QE2, made famous by its mention in the 1998 film, The Parent Trap, was based). In "On Board Queen Elizabeth," Wells documents a boxing match between two unknown participants, just one of the many entertainment opportunities offered by the cruise ships of this line. He also provides a brief look at the layout of the ship and the ocean views from onboard. At 2:26 he includes footage of a small, young girl playing with Wells' dog, Red; this was likely unrelated to the European trip and was an attempt to use up the rest of the film on the reel before developing it.

Unknown #1

Somewhere in Greece

"Unknown #1" contains a significant amount of footage from this European adventure. Wells documents his experiences at the sites of Greek ruins, in gardens, and in German and Italian cities with bombed-out buildings. From 17:00 to the end he focuses on his mother, filming her in front of a tree, in front of cars, and on a beach. For more on this trip, view "A Flying Visit to South America: President Herman B Wells" Reel 1 of 3 by clicking on the "South America Trip" tab. The footage from 16:43 onward pertains to more of his and his mother's experiences in Greece and in the Holy Land.

On Bd Ship

Another ship passes by

"On Bd Ship" shows the preparations both on and off ship prior to the European departure. Depicted are tugboats, buildings, crowds, a receding shoreline, and on open sea.

Europe 1950s