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Posts Tagged ‘aviation’

On October 26, 1958, Pan American World Airways inaugurated the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707.

Unveiling of Boeing's new 707 jet, Renton, 1954. Image courtesy of the Museum of History & Industry, Seattle (MOHAI).

The prototype had been unveiled four years earlier in the spring of 1954, and Pan Am placed an order for twenty planes in the fall of 1955.  After its first commercial flight, the 707 quickly gained popularity.  Its success prompted technological developments in airports, air traffic control, and other aspects of air transport infrastructure throughout the 1960s, and the jet remained in production until 1979.

View from Boeing 707 jet on Pam Am Polar Flight direct from San Francisco to London, 1961. Image courtesy of Indiana University Archives.

The history of transportation is one of the major collection strengths of Opening HistoryKing County Snapshots has many more images from the Boeing Company.  Complementary collections relating to the history of aviation include: the Wright Brothers Negatives, Arizona Aviation History: The Ruth Reinhold Collection, and the Springfield Aviation Company Collection.

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American aviator, engineer, industrialist, film producer, film director, and philanthropist Howard Hughes (1905-1976) was born on Christmas eve, on December 24, 1905, in Texas.

Howard Hughes, 1951


The photograph above, courtesy of LA Examiner Digital Archive collection, shows Hughes in the cockpit of a plane in 1951.

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On December 17, 1935, the Douglas DC-3 airplane made its first flight. Because of its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II Douglas DC-3 is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.

One of the early color photographs of Douglas DC-3 in the air was made by Charles Weaver Cushman in Chicago municipal airport (now Midway Airport) in October 1941. Photograph below courtesy of Indiana University Archives / Digital Library Program, Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection.

Cushman_DouglasDC-3_1941

DC-3 of Chgo & South'n Air Lines comes down to Chgo. Airport (Oct. 10, 1941)

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Two important events in the history of aviation and astronautics happened this week: one 142 years ago, another almost a century later.

American aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867. The photograph of Wilbur Wright below is courtesy of Wright Brothers Negatives collection, in Opening History aggregation.

Portrait of Wilbur Wright, 1905

Portrait of Wilbur Wright, 1905

On April 12, 1961, the era of astronautics began, when the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. World Day of Aviation and Astronautics is celebrated on April 12.
The photograph below features astronaut John Glenn, who was the third person and the first American to orbit the Earth (1962). Courtesy of Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, part of a larger King County Snapshots collection (more information about this collection from Opening History ).

John Glenn on the monorail at the World's Fair, Seattle, 1962

John Glenn on the monorail at the World's Fair, Seattle, 1962

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