As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Golden Era of Air Travel: The Days Before the TSA

This morning, USA Today blogger Ben Mutzabaugh warned that American Airlines' decision to hike domestic air fares by $10 per round trip might lead to another round of fare increases. He also noted that the fare hike marks the seventh time U.S. airlines have tried to raise fares in 2011. That averages out to about one new fare hike every 10 days so far this year.

The airlines say they need the increased revenue to offset the rising price of fuel. That certainly sounds reasonable; it just would be a whole lot more palatable if you received fantastic service for the cost of your ticket.

Take a look at the website for the National Air and Space Museum if you want to get a glimpse at the glamorous era of commercial aviation. The digital exhibit titled (appropriately enough) When the Going Was Good: The Golden Age of Commercial Air Travel will make you pine for days gone by, when you dressed up, not down, for you flight.

Visit that online exhibit you’ll find pictures of the early days of air travel as well as some printed ephemera advertising airlines. Other potential sources of primary source material on the history or aviation and air travel past and present are The National Archives and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The photo above comes from the National Air and Space Museum. The caption states - Breakfast in bed aboard a United Airlines Douglas DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport), circa 1936. The DST was soon modified to operate as a day plane and was renamed the DC-3.

Happy travels.

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