Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lessons from Professor Privat

Looks awfully young
for a professor
As I noted yesterday, in the early twentieth century newspapers were more liberal about applying the title professor than they ought to have been. This was probably in part due to the practice of the day, in which the term was used more broadly than it is today. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that just about anyone offering Esperanto lessons was termed a “professor.” I've got another example of it today.

On July 30, 1908, Edmond Privat was a student and just shy of his nineteenth birthday. He did eventually get a degree, though it doesn't seem that Privat ever held a professorship anywhere. That didn't that didn’t stop the Omaha Daily Bee from describing him as “Prof. Edmonde Prevat of Geneva, Switzerland.” Well, they got the Geneva part right.
Mrs. Ralph Elliott of Omaha, has passed successfully an examination in Esperanto, after completing a course at Chautauqua, N. Y., with Prof. Edmonde Prevat of Geneva, Switzerland.
There only seems to be one Ralph Elliott of Omaha, Nebraska in 1908. Our Mrs. Ralph Elliott would seem to be Magda P. Elliott, who was substantially younger than her husband. Mr. Elliott was 55 in 1908, and his bride 26.

Privat had travelled to the United States to promote Esperanto, taking part in the first U.S. Esperanto congress, earlier that month. Clearly, Mrs. Elliott was one of participants in the Chautauqua conference. However, it is clear that she remained active in the Esperanto movement for at least a number of years. In 1912, the Bee reported that Mrs. Elliott had translated a life of Francis David Millet into Esperanto. Millett had been one of the passengers to perish with the sinking of the Titanic, earlier that year.
You can follow my blog on Twitter (@impofthediverse) or on Facebook. If you like this post, share it with your friends. If you have a comment just for me, e-mail me at
This blog runs solely on ego! Follow this blog! Comment on this post! Let me know that you want to read more of it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...