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We Have with Us Tonight— Figure PINCHOT James B. Pond America's Famous Lecture Impresario IN HIS AMAZING AND AMUSING TALES OF ADVENTURES BEHIND THE SCENES WITH WORLD CELEBRITIES 542 Fifth Avenue New York, New York JAMES B. POND as cartooned in The New Yorker August 27, 1932 The poster used for Lord Dunsany's lecture tour. About JAMES B. POND THE NEW YORKER, in the first of its two Profiles about James B. Pond, said, In his experience Pond has come to know practically all there is to know about the eccentricies of genius. If ever a man has had opportunity to know genius in the rough, it is James B. Pond. Born in an atmosphere of celebrities, he has been associated all his life with the world's great. His father, Major J. B. Pond, regarded by many as, next to Barnum, America's greatest showman, not only managed the lecture tours of his celebrities, but he brought many of them to his home. As a boy Mr. Pond grew up with such people around the house as Mark Twain, Conan Doyle, Sir Henry M. Stanley, Bill Nye, Ian Mac Laren, Israel Zangwill and Hall Caine. Even Peary's eskimo dogs found a home there. On his father's death in 1903, Mr. Pond became owner of the world famous Pond Lecture Bureau. He has conducted it ever since. Founded in 1873, his father managed it 30 years. Mr. Pond has been the Major Pond for another 30 years. Many people do not know where the one left off, the other begun. There seems to have always been a Major Pond. In his own time, Mr. Pond has managed a list of stars that reads like a Who's Who. He has had a unique gift for finding talent and exploiting it. Many people found by him may have been later lured away, but he has done an amazing pioneer work. He unearthed and first brought to America the virtually unknown John Masefield. Ruth Draper he developed from obscurity into the greatest one woman show the theatre has ever known. He brought Rabindranath Tagore for two spectacular tours. He piloted the sensational visit of the second Messiah, Krishnamurti, and his female John the Baptist, Annie Besant. Mrs. Pankhurst, Helen Keller and Catherine Breshkovsy were all under his management. Maurice Maeterlinck, Lord Dunsany, Vicente Blasco Ibanez were his. So, too, Sir Philip Gibbs, John Galsworthy, Lady Gregory. In the field of exploration he has had unique contacts. Admiral Byrd has made all his tours under his management. Admiral Peary was also a Pond star. The first man to fly the Atlantic, Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, came to America sponsored by Mr. Pond. Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, James Norman Hall, Merion C. Cooper, Sven Hedin, Sir Alan Cobham, Rosita Forbes, Sir John Foster Fraser and General William Mitchell are but a few of those in exploration and aviation who sailed under the Pond banner. In his talks about world celebrities, Mr. Pond makes it a point to be not only entertaining but to show the human side of people who are to most of the world merely names and traditions. GENE LOCKHART, Actor and Radio Star.—In the future I shall address you as the peppiest, most graphic and epigrammatical luncheon speaker I have ever heard. (Written after Mr. Pond's talk at The Dutch Treat Club, New York.) STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, Indiana, Pa.—You deserve to know the afterglows. Your audience was most assuredly transported, transported to realms where radiant fires of genius blaze. All next day the students continually reported their enchantments. This in my classes which cover almost 400. Other groups also came to my door to ask to have you again. Some club women down town made inquiry, too. So you might as well set your plans for next fall's visit to Indiana.—EDNA LEE SPROWLS, Head of English Department. You are one of the most entertaining extemporaneous speakers I have ever heard. CARVETH WELLS Figure WHENEVER a distinguished cartoonist would come to Major Pond's office, he would cut a head from a quite famous picture of his son, stick it on a card and have the cartoonist put a body to it. So a rare collection of cartoons was built up. The above is the drawing by Thomas Nast, the great cartoonist. Under the nickname of Bim, James B. Pond became quite a famous person even before his father's death. He was educated at Cornell University. He is a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. During the war he was part of the Headquarters Staff at Camp Dix. He has travelled all over the world. He is an Active Member of The Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Life Member of the New York Zoological Society, a Governor of the Circumnavigator's Club and a member and Past Director of The Adventurers Club. He is a Life Member of the National Arts Club, New York, a member of the Town Hall Club, Dutch Treat Club and City Club, New York. He is a member of the Society of American Magicians and the Poetry Society of America. He is no the National Executive Committee of The Circus Saints and Sinners Club. HIS LECTURES ECCENTRICITIES OF GENIUS This is Mr. Pond's main lecture and is the one which should be selected unless there is a special interest in topics listed below. It has a universal appeal and is highly entertaining. It deals chiefly with Blasco Ibanez, Lord Dunsany, Maurice Maeterlinck, Bernard Shaw, John Masefield, John Galsworthy, Hugh Walpole, Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, Irving Bacheller A.E., W. B. Yeats and George Moore. It is varied in nature to fit the particular circumstances and the people included are selected to best fit the occasion. TROUBADOURS OF TODAY Mr. Pond has been highly instrumental in making poets known to the general public. He has managed most of the great poets of our time. In this lecture he not only tells about his poet friends but he gives imitations of some of them reading their own works. The poets dealt with are Tagore, Masefield, Yeats, Vachel Lindsay, Sanburg, Millay, Masters, George Russell, Robert Nichols, Naidu. MAKERS OF THE IRISH LITERARY RENAISSANCE As long as he can remember The Pond Bureau has been closely associated with Ireland's cultural awakening. Mr. Pond has personally known practically every one of the great people in it. He tells of Lady Gregory, George Moore, Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, Padraic Colum, Ernest Boyd, Lord Dunsany, Lennox Robinson, St. John Ervine, Walter Starkie, Oliver Gogarty, Col. Arthur Lynch and others. HEROES IN OUR MIDST A lecture, designed chiefly for Boys' Schools, about the great explorers, aviators and adventurers whom Mr. Pond has known. Its chief figure is Admiral Byrd. It is full of romance and live interest. MARK TWAIN, LECTURER A special lecture for the Mark Twain Centenary. All Mark Twain's lectures were managed by his close friend, Major Pond. Mr. Pond retells the story, quoting from many unpublished letters, diaries and expense accounts. It shows the great humorist from a little known angle. BEHIND THE SCENES with CELEBRITIES An abridged form of Mr. Pond's main lecture. It is planned for luncheon and dinner occasions. Mr. Pond will select appropriate stories from his vaste collection. CIVIC CLUB, Harrisburg, Pa.—Your talk was a delightful, chatty sort of thing, the result of your intimate contacts with the great. I do believe we all love their foibles and weaknesses as much as we do the real big things which they accomplish. We shall remember your coming with much pleasure.—MRS. MARTIN W. FAGER, Chairman. ROTARY CLUB, New York City.—I certainly had no idea you were so fine an actor and orator. You had us completely spellbound. No chairman would ever think of ringing the bell on you for the crowd would gladly sit there for the rest of the afternoon listening to your amusing and amazing anecdotes. The Pond Bureau has a great speaker for its President.—EDWIN H. RUSHMORE, Secretary. Figure Places where J. B. Pond has lectured Woman's Athletic Club, Chicago, Ill. 20th Century Club, Pittsburgh, Pa. Friday Morning Club, Los Angeles, Cal. Ebell Club, Los Angeles, Cal. Ladies Literary Club, Grand Rapids, Mich. Woman's Club, Richmond, Va. Woman's City Club, Berkeley, Cal. Rockford Woman's Club, Rockford, Ill. Civic Club, harrisburg, Pa. Oak Park Club, Oak Park, Ill. College Club, Summit, N. J. Current Events Club, Washington, Pa. Bronxville Woman's Club, Bronxv., N. Y. Elmwood Woman's Club, Providence, R. I. Ladies Literary Club, Bradford, Pa. Woman's Club, Freeport, Ill. Woman's Club, Wheeling, W. Va. Woman's Club, Steubenville, Ohio Monday Afternoon Club, Plainfield, N. J. Woman's Club of Forest Hills, N. Y. C. Ilium Literary Society, Troy, N. Y. Woman's Club, Corning, N. Y. Woman's Club, Springfield, Mass. Old and New, Malden, Mass. Cosmopolitan Club, Santa Barbara, Cal. Book and Play Club, Los Angeles, Cal. Pennsylvania Federation of Women's Clubs W. Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs State Normal School, Indiana, Pa. Colorado Teacher's College, Greeley, Col. New York State Teachers Association Thacher School, Ojai, Cal. Rochester Ad Club, Rochester, N. Y. Greater Buffalo Ad Club, Buffalo, N. Y. Detroit Art Institute (twice) Dutch Treat Club, New York City Rotary Club, New York City Rotary Club, Chicago, Ill. Rotary Club, Toledo, Ohio Rotary Club, Newark, N. J. Rotary Club, Newburgh, N. Y. Rotary Club, Harrisburg, Pa. COMMENTS OF THE PRESS Mr. Pond has a big stage to work on and he used it all. He imitated Eddie Cantor. He imitated Lord Dunsany. He imitated John Masefield. Later he grew more ambitious, and imitated a honeymoon couple, and finally a feather duster. The audience took to his comedy with great delight and at times the auditorium vibrated with laughter. The lecture was quite a hilarious affair. At times it took on the aspect of a three ring circus.— DETROIT FREE PRESS. An effervescence of humorous anecdotes exhibiting the eccentricities of famous men caused the lounge of the Oak Park Club to be filled with continuous laughter when James B. Pond spoke on Wednesday afternoon.— OAK LEAVES, Oak Park, Ill. Women's Literary Club members yesterday heard one of the most amusing and unusual talks ever presented before the organization when James Burton Pond, manager of literary and musical celebrities and well known in other fields, addressed the group. The possessor of a neat flare for humorous effect, Mr. Pond proved a most engaging speaker. From a fund of amusing incidents upon which he can draw through his long associations with those artists of the prima donna type, he selected several of the most entertaining examples.— THE ERA, Bradford, Pa. Mr. Pond is extremely talented as an after-dinner speaker and his short stories of personal contacts with celebrities he told in an exceedingly interesting and colorful way.— THE WEST VIRGINIAN, Fairmount, W. Va. Mr. Pond with Rabindranath Tagore at Santa Barbara, California, 1915.
|Title||James B. Pond: world celebrities|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Pond, James B.|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|