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November 30, 2015

15 Fascinating Vintage Photos of the First Female Flight Attendants in the 1930s

Although much has changed in the past 30 years in the world of female flight attendants, the scope of this site deals with the history of stewardesses from the 1930s through the 1970s.

Before commercial air travel, the only airplane passengers beyond pilots or military personnel were brave travelers who hitched rides on small, mail-carrying planes. The pilots were concerned only with flying safely and didn't have time to take care of passengers.

During the 1920s, airplanes got bigger and could accommodate more passengers. Airlines started to hire male stewards and cabin boys to carry luggage, take tickets and reassure nervous passengers, but it wasn't until 1930 that the first woman flew as a flight attendant.

Here are 15 fascinating vintage photos that show the first female flight attendants in the 1930s.

First female flight attendants of United Airlines, all of whom were nurses, 1930

Airplane meal service, 1939

American Airways, 1933

An air hostess, ca. 1930s

Ellen Church, ca. 1930

Ellen Church, the first female flight attendant, May 15, 1930

Lucile Garner Grant, the first stewardess in Canadian airline history, who joined Trans Canada Airlines on July 1, 1938

Lucile Grant and Pat Ecclestone became Air Canada's first two air hostesses, July 1938

Stewardess Clara Johnson with Roscoe Turner's Boeing 247D, 25 March 1935

Trans Canada Air Line (now Air Canada) introduces their first flight attendant, 1938

Transcontinental and Western Air stewardess in the first regular passenger flights between New York and Los Angeles, October 25, 1930

Transcontinental and Western Air stewardess, 1937

TWA flight attendants, 1938

United Airline stewardess, ca. 1930s

United Airline stewardess, ca. 1935-36



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