Gambling and Wagers

Around the World with a Baby Carriage


The Earl of Lonsdale accepted a bet from his friend John Pierpoint Morgan that no man could circumnavigate the globe, on foot, without being recognized.

The wager didn’t end there. By 1908, further conditions stipulated that the individual would only be permitted one change of pants, should wear a metal helmet, and had to push a baby carriage throughout his globe-trotting voyage. Undaunted, local showman Harry Bernsley took on the bet for a cool £21,000 prize. In order to collect the cash, he would also have to find a wife along the way, sell postcards of himself while wearing a suit of armor, and go the entire journey without being recognized once.

Sadly, despite claiming to have made it through Ireland, Canada, America, Japan, China, India, Turkey, and Italy over the course of a six-year trek, the outbreak of World War I prevented Bernsley from completing his wager. All the same, Morgan and Lonsdale were impressed enough to award him £4,000 for his efforts.


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