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Thomas Cook bankruptcy: How the iconic travel brand went from transporting anti-liquor protesters in the 1800s to collapsing and stranding 600,000 passengers in 2019

Thomas Cook bankruptcy: How the iconic travel brand went from transporting anti-liquor protesters in the 1800s to collapsing and stranding 600,000 passengers in 2019

Thomas Cook airplane

Paul Hanna/Reuters

Thomas Cook was once one of the oldest and most respected travel firms in the world.

Visit the Thomas Cook travel and airline website today and you'll be met with a simple message:

"The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled."

After 178 years of being the biggest British name in holiday booking, Thomas Cook has declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcy has left 600,000 travelers stranded and 21,000 people out of work.

Read more: Stranded Thomas Cook customers say a single piece of paper taped to their hotel's reception is the only contact they've had from the collapsed tour operator

Keep reading for a look at the company's rich history dating back to 1841.

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