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This Book Is the Perfect Gift for Travelers

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This Book Is the Perfect Gift for Travelers
There was a certain type of glamor about air travel in the 20th century that you don’t see anymore. Luckily, art collector and author Matthias C. Huhne created a book that chronicles the story of Pan American World Airways, one of the leaders in the history of commercial travel. 

The book, Pan Am: History, Design & Identity, captures the exclusivity of passenger flight in the 1920s on the most popular airline of its time until it ceased operation in 1991. We’ve flipped through the pages and rounded up some of our favorite old-school Pan Am photos and advertisements from what we think would be the perfect gift for any frequent traveler.

All photos courtesy of Callisto Publishers
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    A Family Affair
    Flying with kids isn’t always easy, but in 1956 Pan Am created a national magazine campaign offering a “fly now—pay later” program aimed at making international air travel affordable and accessible to middle-class families.
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    From Pan Am, With Love
    In the 1930s, the airline created postcards based on black-and-white photographs as promotional items. The photos were hand-colored and aimed to create an idealized image of air travel.
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    From New York to Europe
    In an attempt to capture tourists’ attention with the excitement that air travel inspires, the airline circulated cartoon-like posters that appealed to nonbusiness travelers.
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    Sleep Tight
    One of the major components of early air travel that we don’t see anymore is comfortable sleeping areas. When such travel was expensive, there were fewer passengers and flights took a lot longer. This meant that there were real beds and privacy for flyers. Pan Am created beds with opaque curtains for privacy and individual lighting for each bed.
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    On the Runway
    Before air travel was as common as it is today, airports were small and passengers boarded right on the runway. Although now rare, you can still find this boarding style at small airports across the world.
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    Faraway Places
    Beginning in the 1930s, Pan Am’s publicity director, William van Dusen, had brochures created to address common questions and concerns that travelers had about air travel. First, the brochures outlined the advantages of air travel and described the experience. Second, they explained how air travel allowed travelers to visit remote destinations or unfamiliar places that were difficult or nearly impossible to reach. The brochures highlighted what travelers could expect to find at these new destinations and were given to clients at travel agencies. Rumor has it that many of the writers had never visited the faraway places they described.  

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    Air Travel Became Vital
    “One of the contributing factors leading up to the formation of this air transport system was the expectation that it would not only immediately be of real assistance to the businessmen of this country, but soon a vital necessity in the building up of our foreign trade, and in the development of our export markets.”—Juan Trippe, founder of Pan Am
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    Doing Business
    Before the late 1950s the high cost of flying meant that business travelers who could foot the bill were Pan Am’s prime clientele. Business travel made up nearly 80 percent of passenger revenue.
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    Making Changes
    The Sikorsky S-42 aircraft were fully equipped with cabins that made travel more comfortable for passengers as the airline expanded to include tourists.
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    No TSA Pre-Check Here
    Before the days of paying extra for TSA Pre-Check or priority boarding, travelers would board all at once.
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    Going Global
    Pan Am was the largest international airline in the United States from the late 1920s until it closed in 1991. This poster from 1930 is the airline’s first advertisement showcasing a globe to indicate tits extended travel options.
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