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Pacific Southwest Airlines flight attendant photograph album
7128  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
A photograph album compiled by a flight attendant working for Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) in the 1970s. The photographs are uncaptioned but some feature the year and month in the negative: October through December of 1973. The woman, who is unnamed, is repeatedly shown alongside a consistent group of fellow attendants, each clad in period uniforms comprising short, bright pink and orange miniskirts, sometimes accompanied by pink hotpants and paired with red go-go boots. PSA was known for their vivid, eye-catching uniforms, this iteration of which was created by Barbara Owens, a San Diego based uniform designer. Most of the photographs in the album show the cabin crew during off hours, traveling on empty aircrafts and having a good time -- when taking such pictures would have been permitted. Other photographs show the women at hotels and restaurants during layovers, still uniformed, and a few portray the PSA hostesses servicing the cabin, particularly during a costumed flight for Halloween.
Background
Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA), founded in 1949 by Kenneth Friedkin with a single leased DC-3, became known as the "World's Friendliest Airline," and became one of the first American budget airlines. PSA's fare prices--which undercut competitors by as much as 50 percent--along with their customer service, quickly gave the company a foothold in the golden age of air travel. In the 1960s, large smiles were painted on the noses of the fleet, and airline employees were encouraged to engage and joke with customers and coworkers alike. PSA had a policy of only hiring traditionally attractive women, and deemed the practice an integral part of the company's image. In 1969, PSA's director of stewardesses Nancy Marchand said that they hired "so many pretty girls locally... that San Diego's 'supply'... was becoming depleted." In 1971 the National Organization for Women (NOW) picketed against PSA and other airlines for the use of "stewardesses as sex objects."
Extent
0.75 Linear Feet 1 box
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Department of Special Collections at specol@usc.edu. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
Advance notice required for access.