Just back from flying up for the opening day festivities of the new exhibit America by Air at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM). This major exhibit is a wonderful look at the impact of airlines on everyday life since the early air mail days. Highly recommend stopping by to see it next time you are on the Mall in Washington, DC.
The Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum worked with the NASM curators to provide images from our collections for this exhibit. Here I am with the stand-out image: a cut-out of Lucille Ball, as a 1930s Hollywood starlet, boarding a Western Air Express plane (Western merged with Delta in 1987).
Artifacts loaned from the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum to the NASM for this exhibit include these Chicago and Southern Air Lines playing cards and Delta and Western Airlines “kiddie wings.”
The exhibit has much, much more, including seven complete aircraft and a Boeing 747 nose, but a highlight for me was walking through a DC-7 forward fuselage. I felt like I was a 1950s passenger when I saw the onboard typewriter and a fur wrap and hat boxes in the coat closet. . . . Although I do have to admit I’m biased about the superior restoration of our Douglas DC-3 Ship 41 with its beautiful 1940s interior.
Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum