-ad 626-

What Did National Airport Look Like in 1941?

Washington's new airport opened for business in June 1941. This series of detailed photos shows what flying was like 80 years ago, more glamorous, quaint, and dressed up.
-ad 188-
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Some time ago we posted some great images of National Airport when it opened back in 1941. We dug up some more great old images of the city’s airport from that same year. Scroll through this collection below, taken in July of that year, the month after the airport opened.

At the entrance to the municipal airport in Washington, D.C. Source: Library of Congress
-ad 197-

This is our favorite image, showing the flight information board back when everything was written in chalk. Can we assume that “landing annulled” means that it was cancelled or aborted?

Flight information bulletin number of one of the airlines. Washington D.C. municipal airport. Source: Library of Congress

Below is a shot of passengers waiting for their flights in the terminal. Behind them you see check in desks, including Pennsylvania Central Airlines on the right. They were the precursor to Capital Airlines, which was based out of National Airport and was the fifth largest domestic carrier at the time after American, United, TWA, and Eastern. Eventually Capital Airlines would merge into United Airlines in 1961.

-ad 199-
In the main waiting room at the municipal airport in Washington, D.C. Source: Library of Congress

Here’s a closer show of Pennsylvania Central Airlines’ desk with some solders congregating to possibly check in for their flights. Little did they know how their worlds would change that December after the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor, pulling our country into World War II

Soldiers at the counter in the municipal airport in Washington, D.C. Source: Library of Congress
-ad 607-

Below you’re looking at the air traffic control tower looking out over the field, and what looks like a model of the runways and taxiways on his console.

View from inside the control tower at the municipal airport, in Washington, D.C. Source: Library of Congress

Below is a shot of passengers getting ready to board Pennsylvania Central Airlines’ flight.

-ad 611-
Passengers boarding an airliner. Washington, D.C. municipal airport. Source: Library of Congress

Take a look at this rather unappealing cafeteria.

In the cafe at the municipal airport in Washington, D.C. Source: Library of Congress
-ad 625-

These baggage handlers can’t be much more than 18 years old. They probably ended up in Europe or the Pacific about six months after this photo was taken.

These boys handle the luggage and do other jobs around the field of the municipal airport in Washington, D.C. Source: Library of Congress

Take a look below at this shot of a Bell Cab Co. taxi pulling up to the entrance at the then-new terminal.

-ad 621-
At the entrance to the airport. Washington, D.C. municipal airport. Source: Library of Congress
READ:  Vice President Coolidge and Speaker Gillett, Exercise Buddies
-ad 617-

Recommended for You

-ad 618-
-ad 619-
-ad 189-