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1955 Wagon Trip Around the World

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: This post was originally published din 2014. Since then, I learned more about Ted, but had spread it out across various posts. Ted’s trips, and his subsequent movies, have been added to this post.

First Published November 2014: In 1955, Theodore Bumiller set out for an around-the-world adventure in a Willys Wagon. He captured his trip in photos and video. I attempted to learn more about his trip, but I only learned that his daughter is now a noted author (maybe someone else will have more luck). I emailed her to learn more about her father’s adventures, but have yet to receive a reply.




Following the trip, Ted made his first film: a 30 minute movie titled “Around The World By Jeep”. He traveled around exhibiting it. The ad below, published in the January 3rd, 1970, edition of the Toledo Blade shows he was still touring and showing his film fifteen years after he’d made his trip.

Anyone ever seen the movie?


In the late 1950s, Ted created a second movie: “The Four Seasons of Scandinavia”, an exploration of the four seasons in Scandinavian countries. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t have anything to do with jeeps.

This article from the April 15, 1959, issue of The Sun (out of Stark County, Ohio) explains more:


Ted’s daughter Elizabeth wrote a book and included an acknowledgement to Ted and his wife Ruth Ann for teaching her how to travel and for inspiring her to explore the world. In it she mentions a third film by Ted, “Eternal India”.



3 Comments on “1955 Wagon Trip Around the World

  1. Steve E.

    It sounds like quite an adventure. I wonder if he made money from the film he recorded on the trip. He must have had quite a scare when that water buffalo gored the side of the poor Willys.

    I also find it interesting that today’s news headlines reported that Arabs killed people in Canada, and in 1955 it was no different than now. We read about his adventure in 1955: “…a band of Nomadic Arabs stoned his car, damaging his windshield because he violated a Moslem regulation against taking an Arabic version of a pinup picture.”

    Did he have a photo of someone without her berka? Did he have a photo of, Betty Grable? “Let’s stone ’em!”

    **Steve E.**

  2. Mike

    Interesting story, but not much detail about the Willys wagon itself. Other than running out of gas, nothing about breakdowns, oil changes, most certainly needed on such a long hall, tires that wore out. Sounds more like a PROMO PIECE than a news story, this not being a critical statement, just an assessment of content.

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