Airline Identity

“What’s in a name?,” Shakespeare asked. If it were the name of a company, then the answer would be, quite a lot. Corporate identity is conveyed first and foremost by the company’s name with which it is doing business. A company name ascribes a title to the business entity, and it is the building block upon which the brand is projected into the market place.

Airport Play: Commercial Aviation Toys and Games

During the 1920s and 30s, municipal airports were built in ever greater numbers throughout the Americas and Europe reflecting the rapid expansion of commercial aviation and the need for infrastructure to facilitate it. These changes were seen as ushering in a new air age, and educating the youth of America about airports and commercial aviation became a high public priority.

Women at Work: The World War II Aircraft Factory Photographs of Alfred T. Palmer

Office of War Information recruitment poster with a worker finishing the bombardier nose section of a Douglas-built Boeing B-17F heavy bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, California  1942; Alfred T.</body></html>

Wooden Wonders: Early Lockheed Aircraft


SFO Terminal 2: Origin | Renovation

San Francisco's first municipal airport opened to the public in June 1927. Officially named Mills Field Municipal Airport of San Francisco, it was situated twelve miles from the city's civic center on 150 acres of cow pasture leased from the Mills Estate at an annual rate of $1,500. The airport was considered experimental and its location temporary. A dirt runway was graded and a small wooden administration building served as the terminal.

Ascent to the Air Age: Aviation Literature for Young Readers, 1910–1950s

The Picture Book of Flying (Across the Arctic p. 37)  1928Frank DobiasMacmillan Company, New Yorkpaper, inkSFO Museum1999.655.015R2013.1101.014.01

The Picture Book of Flying (Across the Arctic p.37) 1928
Frank Dobias
Macmillan Company, New York

China Clipper

The challenges and triumphs of pioneering ocean air transport by Pan American Airways' flying clipper ships is presented with more than one hundred and twenty artifacts, models, documents, and photographs dating from the inauguration of service in 1935 to the end of the flying boat era in 1946.

United We Stand: Female Flight Attendant Uniforms of United Airlines

The Douglas DC-3: Legacy of an Airline Legend


Over the course of the 1920s, commercial aviation in North America and Europe progressed rapidly. Air routes expanded across continents, and air fleets were continually updated. Yet, maintaining financial viability proved difficult for many airlines. Airliners were relatively limited in capacity, expensive to maintain and operate, and delicate. Corrugated aluminum airliners, such as the Ford Tri-motor, were more sturdy and reliable, but were heavy and slow.