Selden Martin, who received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1907, worked briefly in Washington and taught at Bowdoin College before signing on to help Paul Cherington teach Economic Resources and Commercial Organization of Central and South America.

But the course lacked useful teaching materials. In October 1910, therefore, with financial backing from the United Fruit Company, Martin left on an extensive research tour of South America. He traveled some 26,000 miles, crossed the Andes six times, and visited every South American country except Venezuela and the Guianas.

“An economic perspective of South America that was approximately correct was sought for,” Martin wrote, summarizing his ambitious journey.

Selden Martin