Friendly Skies in the Dawn of Airlines

all images from I Remember Distinctly by Agnes Rogers

Passengers board a Ford tri-motor plane in 1932, a plane which carried only a dozen folks and cruised at 125 mph. Note the attention to clothing and accessories, as this was not a local jaunt to Walmart.

Below are “air stewardesses” in 1935, chosen for their short stature as well as their XX chromosomes. In addition, all were trained nurses.

Now we see an actual airborne photo of an American Airlines DC-4 with a top speed of 211 mph at 10,000 feet. She looks sturdy, no? Up, up, and away!


5 thoughts on “Friendly Skies in the Dawn of Airlines”

  1. Historical tidbit on that DC4 in the photo:

    That’s actually a second generation DC4. The first generation was tested by United Airlines who said it was underpowered and overly complicated and way too expensive to maintain. After blistering feedback from United and Eastern Air Lines, Douglas simplified and downsized the plane but still called it a DC4. Clever devils renamed the original DC-4 as “DC-4E”, with “E” for “experimental”.

    Here’s the fun part: That DC-4E was then sold off to Imperial Japanese Airways. Japan Airways didn’t need another plane style but it snagged the DC4-E because it was hot to steal advanced aeronautical designs from the US. Ultimately the DC-4E was reverse-engineered by Japan and used to design the Nakajima G5N heavy bomber but that bomber never went into production.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve missed our talks. You have so much information in your head! This was an interesting lesson for me. That’s way more than the caption gave, and much more interesting.


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