Announcing an Australasian adventure

On the trip to Adelaide, December 1928

While still on the ship to Australia, Colin Ross promises a trip that will test his family’s limits.

This report, likely written before Colin Ross departed from Hamburg, starts off with a powerful image of domesticity on the move. He chronicles the Christmases that his family has experienced in recent years while on their trips all over the world. But for the young, urbane readership that the Ullstein daily Tempo targeted, such niceties wouldn’t do. So, Ross goes on to advertise himself, not as an “explorer” in any scientific sense, but rather an observer of “vibrant life”.

Trying to stoke interest in the reporting to come, he goes so far as to suggest that he and his family might be biting off more than they can chew this time around, referring to cannibalism in Papua New Guinea. “On our earlier trips, we have tested our adventurousness, and I know that this journey goes to the limits, if not beyond, of what we may risk. But why shouldn’t we again trust our lucky star, as it has always helped us out of difficult situations?” Swinging from apprehension to optimism, this passage exemplifies Ross’s deft balancing of wholesomeness and sensationalism in employing his family.

Joachim Schätz








Colin Ross. Wir reisen fürs “Tempo” nach Australien. Tempo: 1928 Dec 31.


Topic: The Ross Family
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30




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