I'm glad to be old enough to remember what flying on commercial airlines used to be like. You dressed up and you behaved yourself. Flights took longer, but you were treated with respect and not spam in a can. These days I'll do everything I can to avoid flying. The airlines stink and too often so does the person you're sitting next to. Yes, I'm glad I have my memories, my vinyl Pan Am bag, my little United wings, old TWA folders, my postcards, etc.
The worst flight I ever took was from the West Coast to Dulles. It took over 32 hours. These days, that's normal. How the mighty have fallen, which brings me to these vintage snapshots of planes.
This weeks Sepia Saturday image shows two people working on an aircraft engine which logically made me think of vernacular photographs I have of people traveling by plane.
These first three photos all show a man by the name of Mr. Roberts who led a fascinating life. I've posted images of him in the past. I have been told what this first seaplane is, but now I can't remember so I'm open to suggestions.
Click on any image to see it larger.
The image above shows Mr. Roberts about to fly with Century Air Lines on a Stinson Tri-Motored 10 passenger plane. On the back it says "September 1931." To see a 1932 brochure from Century click here. They even provided chauffeured transportation to and from the airport. Imagine that?
Century Air Lines was formed in 1930 by Errett Lobban Cord who seems to have had his fingers in many pies.
In the final week of 1930, Cord announced the formation of Century Air Lines, Inc. an air-mail and cargo carrier based out of Chicago. Simultaneously, Stinson Aircraft announced the $3 million sale of 100 Lycoming-powered airliners to Century.In early 1932, Aviation Corp., (AVCO) the parent company of American Airways, launched a hostile takeover of Cord’s Century Airlines by creating a labor dispute with Century’s pilots. Cord was not amused and spent the next few months secretly purchasing large chunks of Aviation Corp. stock.At AVCO's fall board meeting, its directors were unpleasantly surprised to learn that Cord was now Aviation Corp’s majority stockholder (34%), which effectively gave him control over Century and American. On August 3, 1933 Cord purchased the New York Shipbuilding Corp. of Camden, New Jersey, and two weeks later purchased a controlling interest in the Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Checker Cab Co. (SOURCE: Coachbuilt)
I have no idea when the shot below was taken, but geez, even the ground crew is dressed up and they probably didn't rifle through your luggage stealing whatever took their fancy. And if that's the pilot dragging the steps away who's flying the plane?
The image below is from a photo album of a trip a couple took between June 27-July 15 in 1954.
And this is a photo I have posted before. Click here to see the fascinating response I received after posting it.
Like I said, people used to dress up to fly. Flying was an adventure, not a chore.