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0096 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 96 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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maism, of whose religious rites I had seen so many colourful examples in the

course of my Tibetan travels. Like so many other old institutions, this religion was in process of decay and would soon be a thing of the past, at least in Outer

Mongolia. The same might presently be the case in Inner Mongolia; and it was

therefore desirable to assemble a complete collection of lamaistic cult-objects and if possible a whole temple. The funds I had hitherto had at my disposal were,

however, nowhere near sufficient for such a big undertaking, so that it would be

necessary to enlist the interest of some wealthy patron in the matter. I therefore thought of visiting some rich Swedish-American in Chicago and explaining my

plans to him. The man I thought of in this connection was the great industrial magnate VINCENT BENDIX, who was well-known for his generosity. He had, for instance, for years financed Dr R. A. MILLIKAN, who in 1923 won the Nobel prize for physics.

Accordingly, on June 25th, I called on my American fellow-countryman VINCENT BENDIX at his office. Mr BENDIx is a wide-awake and interested man, and

it was both easy and pleasant to talk to him. One noticed at once that he was a

man of unusual calibre, for he betrayed no sign of uneasiness even when I laid plans for very extensive enterprises before him. In him one found nothing of the

supercilious superiority that otherwise often makes it an uncomfortable business to submit big plans to rich patrons. We had not spoken for more than a quarter of an hour before he exclaimed: »Well, I've got money, and I have often thought it was up to me to do something for my old country and for Swedish research. Have lunch with me to-morrow and we'll go into your plans. »

BENDIx's father came from Småland, and had died some years previously. He emigrated early, became a Methodist minister and changed his name BENGTSON

to BENDIX. The mother was born in humble circumstances in Östergötland. She

still made a youthful impression, but seemed to find some difficulty in adapting herself in the elegant home her son had prepared for her. VINCENT BENDIX thus

has unmixed Swedish blood in his veins. But he had only paid a short visit to his

parents' native land. As a boy he seems not to have taken kindly to the strict upbringing he received at home, and at the age of sixteen he ran away to New

York, where he became lift-boy in a hospital. By dint of native ability, a clear and alert brain and a pronounced flair for finance he soon got on in life and went from one triumph to another. Two of his biggest articles on the market are »BEN-DIX drives » and »BENDIX brakes », that no car-owner can now do without. His huge factories are situated at South Bend in Indiana. He is now regarded as a genius in economic questions. Already on the occasion of our meeting he was one of the wealthiest men in America and enjoying life to the full.

One day I lunched with him at a club over which he showed me from the cellar to the roof, from the library to the swimming-pool. At the top of a flight of stairs he stopped abruptly and exclaimed: »I guess I can contribute to your plans for the