AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS, a noted romance by Jules Verne. Phineas Fogg, an English gentleman, wagers that a man can travel around the world in 80 days. He wins his wager after a series of exciting adventures. Many years have elapsed since Fogg, as Jules Verne's mythical hero, accomplished the supposedly impossible task of circumnavigating the globe in 80 days, a feat which won for him a wager of $100,000 and incidentally a wife. Since that time, however, so many improvements have been made in methods of transportation, so many new routes — like that of the Trans-Siberian Railway — have been completed that Mr. Fogg's once remarkable trip now appears in the light of an extremely commonplace achievement. In fact the person who, to-day, could not travel around the world in less than 80 days would be regarded as a very inexperienced globe-trotter. The first serious attempt to lower Jules Verne's imaginary record was made in 1890, when Miss Nellie BIy, who represented the New York World, made the trip around the world against time. She was followed by the late George Francis Train, and both succeeded in accomplishing the tour in less than 70 days. Ten years later Mr. George Griffith, of Chiswick, England, established a new record at 64 days, but this record stood for less than a year, it having been reduced, in 1901, to 60 days and few hours, by Charles C. Fitzmorris, who made the trip at the request of Hearst's Chicago American. The success of Fitzmorris was the means of inspiring many persons to participate in this unique form of record breaking, among the contestants there being several journalists, the representatives of European and Canadian papers. All attempts to lower this last record were unsuccessful, however, until December 1903, when Mr. James Willis Sayre of Seattle, Wash., earned the honor for record breaking by girdling the globe in 54 days, 9 hours and 42 minutes, an achievement that lowered the Fitzmorris record by more than six days and three hours. On 17 July 1911, Andre jager-Schmidt, a reporter on Excelsior, a Paris daily newspaper, left that city under instructions to lower this record. The trip was made without an accident or any unnecessary delay and the traveler arrived in Paris on 26 August, having succeeded in establishing a new record in girdling the earth. M. Jager-Schmidt's official time was 39 days, 19 hours, 43 minutes and 37 4/5 seconds but this time would have been lowered to the extent of a few hours if he had not stopped at Cherbourg to attend a reception.
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Jules Gabriel Verne (1828-1905) was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre.
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