history, passport

The past and future of the American passport

The existence of the book, The Passport in America:The History of a Document (Amazon) somehow escaped my attention.

Luckily, the Boston Globe ran a short Q&A with the book’s author, Craig Robertson, today. Click on over to see his answers to the questions below.

When were Americans first required to carry passports for foreign travel?

What was the purpose of passports issued by the State Department before World War I?

Nineteenth-century passports actually featured written descriptions of their holders, correct?

So what was the reaction among the American public when photographs were introduced to passports?

In the days before birth certificates became commonplace, how did the government verify an applicant’s identity?

What future changes to the passport do you foresee?

In your research, you probably looked at hundreds of passports. Did you find a single good passport photo?

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