Cook himself made history with his first organised excursion in 1841,
the company has grown to become a leading travel group, employing 16,000
people in 1050 locations worldwide, including the UK, India,
Egypt and Canada.
Cook was born in Melbourne, Derbyshire, in 1808.
Brought up as a strict Baptist, Thomas served an apprenticeship
as a wood-turner and cabinet-maker. At seventeen Thomas joined the
local Temperance Society and over the next few years spent his spare-time
campaigning against the consumption of alcohol. Thomas Cook also
publishing Baptist and Temperance pamphlets.
Cook had the idea of arranging an eleven-mile rail excursion from Leicester
to a Temperance Society meeting in Loughborough on the newly extended
Railway. Cook charged his customers one shilling and this included
the cost of the rail ticket and the food on the journey. The venture was
a great success and Cook decided to start his own business running
1846 took 500 people from Leicester on a tour of Scotland
that involved visits to Glasgow and Edinburgh. One of his
greatest achievements was to arrange for over 165,000 people to
attend the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. In 1865 Cook moved
his business to London where he arranged tours to Egypt.
His son John managed the London office of the company that
was now known as Thomas Cook & Son.
Thomas Cook & Son was able to offer a 212 day Round the
World Tour for 200 guineas. The journey included a steamship
across the Atlantic, a stage coach from the east to the west
coast of America, a paddle steamer up the Nile, and an overland
journey across China and India.
retired in 1879 leaving John and his three sons to run the
company. He died in 1892.
AFR-EGYPT-L List Administrator