Today in 1890, Nellie Bly, completed a trip around the world in the astounding time of 72 days, six hours and 11 minutes. Only twenty six at the time of this grand adventure, Nellie, whose real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, had already spent six months alone in Mexico and famously infiltrated the notorious insane asylum Bellevue Hospital for Joseph Pulitzer.
The trip set a new world record and gave Nellie a chance to meet the inspiration for her journey, science fiction author Jules Verne. Traveling very light, she packed a single dress, a coat, several changes of underwear and some basic toiletries. Certain legs of her race were delayed by underdeveloped rail lines across Asia and during these periods she managed to visit a leper colony and purchase a pet monkey which returned with her to New York.
Later in life, Nellie would go on to become an industrialist, helping to pioneer the design for 55 gallon steel drums still in use today. She holds a personal patent on stacking garbage cans as well.
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