One of my favorite pieces of memorabilia is this cover and insert sent by someone in the “Office of the President” at TWA (Jack Frye? Howard Hughes?) to Charles “Chuck” Beard at Braniff Airways in July1940. Braniff, as you may know, was founded by Tom and Paul Braniff in 1930. Paul left the airline in 1935 to pursue other interests but Tom retained control of the carrier and hired Chuck Beard to … Continue reading

As you might expect, postcards and magazine display ads are the most common Stratoliner memorabilia available in the marketplace. The image featured in this post was drawn by George Brown Petty IV the famous American pin-up artist. (Petty, an illustrator for Esquire, originated and popularized the magazine centerfold and “Petty Girl” reproductions often became “nose-art” on USAAF warplanes during WWII, including the Memphis Belle.) The other postcards in my collection … Continue reading

Boeing designed the 307 during the mid-1930s and the logo created for the plane has a distinct art deco look to it. It is a variant of the basic corporate logo in use during that decade. (See: Boeing Site.) Photos of the TWA and Pan Am Stratoliners operating prior to WWII show the Boeing/Stratoliner logo painted prominently on the vertical stabilizer of the empennage (tail assembly). The logo had two … Continue reading

A few years ago I stumbled upon a group of introverts Golden Era enthusiasts who congregate in an online forum called The Fedora Lounge. Like other corners of the vast and mysterious Interwebz, this is a place where individuals with obscure interests and (sometimes) expert knowledge hang out and stroke each other ad nauseum graciously share their collective wisdom. I went there initially to ask questions about the men, uniforms, and … Continue reading

This site celebrates the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the world’s first commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized passenger cabin. The Stratoliner was the civilian version of Boeing’s famed B-17 heavy bomber, utilizing the wings, tail, rudder, landing gear, and engines from the production B-17C. Only 11 Stratoliners were built by Boeing. The initial test aircraft was lost on March 18, 1939, while being demonstrated to KLM. Following additional testing and redesign, … Continue reading