This vintage photograph features two uniformed stewardesses (modern parlance: flight attendants) at the door of an airplane. Standing beside them is the plane’s pilot. The light haired stewardess appears to be receiving a piece of luggage from an administrator. The luggage appears to be a hat box but may be too large for that purpose. Note the size of the hat worn by the dark haired stewardess. The hat is certainly a pill box hat, or at least, in that style. Printing on the “hat box” reads “Flight Angels”. Perhaps that term was used at the time to describe stewardesses. There was a movie entitled “Flight Angels” (1940) and it starred Virginia Bruce, Dennis Morgan, and Ralph Bellamy. It was an aviation film that described the training and operations of an airline. It showed the daily routine experienced by pilots and stewardesses during the 1940’s. Examination of the photograph reveals that the crew of this plane worked for “Western Air Express”. This airline went through many transitions during its existence. It started as a mail carrier in 1925 and in short time started flying passengers. In 1930 Western Air Express merged with TWA. In 1934 Western Air Express departed from TWA and in 1941, changed it’s name to Western Airlines. Printing on the reverse of this photograph indicates that it was taken in 1940, just a year before the airlines became Western Airlines. The photographer was Herbert Titter who operated a studio in Great Falls, Montana. Titter is known for his photographs of Blackfoot Indians. In fact, the Library of Congress owns at least 15 of his portraits. This vintage photograph measures about 5″ x 8″ and is in excellent condition (see scans). 


Published in: on June 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. The container isn’t a hatbox but the actual movie, “Flight Angels.” That’s the container films were delivered to the movie theaters in. (I worked at a movie theater in the 1980s and I saw these all the time.) I would recognize it anywhere!

    • Thanks for the insight. I wonder who is doing the advertising? Is this an ad for the movie or for the airlines. I guess this is akin to todays version of “product placement”.

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