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Pan American Airways Collection
SDASM.SC.10239  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Pan American Airways, one of the largest international airlines in the US, operated from 1927-1991, and pioneered several features of modern air travel. Founded in 1927, when the US post office requested bids on a contract to deliver mail from Florida to Cuba, Pan American won with the highest bid, but didn't have the resources they needed to make the flight. They combined with competing airline, Aviation Corporation of the Americas which owned the landing rights in Havana, and this merger created the Pan American Airlines that would become one of the most famous airlines in history. This collection highlights some of the company's history.
Background
Pan American Airways, one of the largest international airlines in the US, operated from 1927-1991, and pioneered several features of modern air travel. Founded in 1927, when the US post office requested bids on a contract to deliver mail from Florida to Cuba, Pan American won with the highest bid, but didn't have the resources they needed to make the flight. They combined with competing airline, Aviation Corporation of the Americas which owned the landing rights in Havana, and this merger created the Pan American Airlines that would become one of the most famous airlines in history. An important figure in this merger was Juan Trippe, a World War I naval aviator and entrepreneur, who formed the Aviation Corporation of the Americas, and would go on to be the operational head of Pan American Airways. Beginning as a mail carrier between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba, it was not until 1928 that the first passenger service began. By the 1950s, Pan Am offered "around the world" flights, and was known for luxurious and comfortable service. Some key milestones for Pan Am include the inauguration of the first transpacific flights (from San Francisco to Manila) in 1936, with the famous China Clipper; the first transatlantic flights (from New York City to Lisbon) in 1939, with the Yankee Clipper, and the first round-the-world flights (from New York to New York eastbound) in 1947.
Extent
1.2 Cubic Feet The collection contains materials related to the early history of Pan American Airways. The material includes information on the first flights, aircrafts used, airline acquisitions and mergers, correspondence, and personal papers of people related to Pan Am. The collection includes documents, correspondence, manuals, training booklets, corporate literature, books, and news articles and clippings. A large part of this collection is research material gathered by Matthew Rodina, an aviation historian and enthusiast, primarily from the University of Miami's Pan American Archives and consists mostly of photocopies of original documents. This is a two box collection measuring 16.25x12.5x10.5". The collection has been organized into series and within that, chronologically.
Restrictions
Some materials may be subject to copyright, please contact the Archivist for details.