Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, Connecticut
metal, rubber, plastic
Courtesy of Wings of History Air Museum, San Martin, California
The fourteen-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engine was one of the earliest twin-row engines to be produced and was essentially two single-row Wasp engines staked together. It could produce up to 1,300 horsepower and, by the late 1930s, had become the preferred powerplant for the Douglas DC-3, along with the C-47, the military transport version of the aircraft, and numerous other commercial and military aircraft.
Warren McArthur, New York
leather, cotton, metal, plastic
Courtesy of Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
This seat would have been typically used for the DC-3 day-use configuration. It is covered in fabric and has cushioned, adjustable seats and seat backs to accommodate a wide range of passenger frames. A lever on one arm allows for seat adjustments. It also features an ashtray on the end of the armrest and seatback pockets for magazines and airline flight packets. Washable linen covers, known as antimacassars, were often fitted over the headrest to prevent the soiling of the fabric from hair oil.
Douglas DC-3 Day Plane and DST Sky Sleeper promotional sales booklet
Gift of Bill Hough
A major contributing factor to the Douglas DC-3’s profitability from passenger revenue was its large capacity, greater than that of most airliners of its day. It could seat twenty-one comfortably in a standard seven-row, one-by-two across day use configuration.
Pants and jacket: Mair-Lavaty Uniforms Company, Chicago, Illinois
Cap: Chicago Uniform & Cap Company, Chicago, Illinois
wool, silk, cotton, metal, leather, enamel
Gift of Thomas G. Dragges
2001.020.001, .002, .003
L2013.0701.043, .044, .045
Hat: Stetson Fifth Avenue, New York
Jacket and skirt: Kurz, Kansas City, Missouri
wool, cotton, silk, metal
Jacket insignia: courtesy of Thomas G. Dragges
Uniform: SFO Museum, gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc.
metal, cloth, ink, porcelain
Pickle fork: gift of Charles C. Quarles
Salt and pepper shakers: gift of Thomas G. Dragges
1998.093.001 a, b, c; 2003.068.001; 2000.057.001–.002; 2002.035.860–.861; 2000.149.009
plastic, metal, cloth
Cup: gift of Thomas G. Dragges
Spoon: gift of Edith Lauterbach
Towel, plate, bowl, and tumblers: courtesy of Robert Behr
Gift of Vicki McCaslin in memory of Helene Dessiaume
In North America airline hot meal service began in the late 1930s on Douglas DC-3 flights. Newly introduced galleys on the airliners allowed stewardesses to store and assemble the meals for serving. On twenty-one-passenger day flights, United Air Lines often used lightweight plastic cups, saucer, and plates.
V. F. Pastushin Co., Santa Monica, California
metal, plastic, paint
Courtesy of Anthony J. Lawler
American Airlines introduced the DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport) in 1936. It featured twelve lower and upper level sleeper berths on each side of the bulkhead. Lower level berths were converted from the passenger seats. The upper berth pulled down from the bulkhead and included an extra viewing window not found on the day-use-configured DC-3s. This rare model of the DST was produced by Victor Pastushin, a production control worker for Douglas Aircraft.
A. C. Rehberger Company, Chicago, Illinois
Scale 1:48 chrome-plated metal, paint
Courtesy of Anthony J. Lawler
United Air Lines had traditionally operated aircraft produced by Boeing, but after recognizing the great potential of the DC-3, was compelled to acquire the new airliner from Douglas. The airline initially configured their DC-3s into club lounges called “Super Luxury Mainliners” with fourteen ultra-comfortable leather swivel seats in a spacious cabin arrangement. The new service was launched in 1937. Produced in the late 1930s by A. C. Rehberger this model of the DC-3 features a base embossed with United’s transcontinental Mainline route.