Last week, we asked you to guess what this vintage airlines object was from the Delta Archives.
Answer: It’s a chewing gum holder or dispenser. It dates from about 1939 to the early 1940s.
A flight attendant, then known as a “stewardess,” would carry the case up and down the aisles offering pieces of gum to passengers. Chewing gum helps relieve ear discomfort caused by air pressure changes – a common problem on the unpressurized planes of the day. This particular case was probably carried on Douglas DC-3 flights operated by Chicago and Southern (C&S) Air Lines along the Mississippi River. To see a similar case, used by one of Northwest Airlines’ first flight attendants in 1939, check out the Minnesota Historical Society’s website.
Winner of our 1st Delta Archives Contest: Josh Hallett (response #1) He was the first person with the correct answer to post a comment last week. We are sending him a small prize from the Delta Archives.
Thanks for playing! We had an outstanding response and a lot of fun reading your comments. Most of you guessed either a chewing gum holder or an ashtray. It was a good learning experience for me, too – many of you noticed the file name “cs_chewing_gum_holder.jpg” was visible when you clicked on the image to enlarge it. I’ll try to really test you guys next time! Look for our 2nd Delta Archives contest in November.