Stories of Flying Collaboration, American Airlines


While researching the history of American Airlines, I ran across this image of a normal work day from the early 1930's.  To some people, the photo may look old, out of date, or even boring. But, there are some interesting elements if we take a moment to really notice what was captured in the photo.  There are multiple industries and companies that are represented in the snapshot and a few of the companies are over 100 years old! Alomost 90 years after the image was taken, many of the companies are still in business today.

Here are a few elements you may find interesting in the photo.  To begin, the plane is a Fairchild Pilgrim 100.  The Fairchild Corporation went on to develop the A-10 Thunderbolt in 1972, which is still being used by the United States Military today.  The truck is a Ford Model T and the model year may between a 1925 and 1927.  Ford was founded in 1903 and Shell Oil has been around since 1912.  The plane was owned and operated by a company with an early affiliation to American Airlines.  When the airline industry started to take shape, the main source of revenue for companies was moving mail for the United States Postal Service, which was founded in 1775 and Ben Franklin was the first Post Master General.  

The airport is located in Springfield, Illinois and Charles Lindbergh may have flown out of this airport.  This is yet to be verified.  Lindbergh did fly out of Commercial Airport 4 years earlier in 1926, which was located west of Springfield.

By researching the history of one company, it is interesting to find how other companies may share a common heritage to help shape an industry in the early days of formation.  By looking at the history of one company, we may find some high flying stories of collaboration.

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