Great Moments in Travel History – September 2013

By Jesse Sokolow on 1 September 2013
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Delta co-founder C.E. Woolman

Delta co-founder C.E. Woolman

Chicago’s Palmer House hotel first opened on September 26, 1871, 13 days before the Great Chicago Fire.  The structure did not survive the blaze and it reopened its doors in 1875.  It is currently the Palmer House Hilton.

John Jacob Astor IV’s St. Regis hotel opened its doors on September 4, 1904 in New York City.  Sheraton Hotels purchased the St. Regis in 1966 and renamed it the St. Regis-Sheraton and it became a Starwood property after Sheraton was acquired by Starwood, which changed the name to the St. Regis New York and began to open up other St. Regis hotels around the world.

On September 1, 1910, Glenn H. Curtiss made a return flight from Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio to Euclid Beach in Cleveland in an hour and forty-two minutes. While he did not break his August record for the longest flight over water, he did average around 55 mph (88.5 km/h) in his biplane, securing the record for the reverse course.

The Roosevelt Hotel, located on Madison Avenue and 45th Street in Manhattan, opened its doors on September 22, 1924.  The hotel has appeared and been referenced in several major films and television shows, including The French Connection, Wall Street, Maid in Manhattan, Man on a Ledge, and Mad Men.

Douglas World Cruisers Chicago and New Orleans completed a round-the-world flight on September 28, 1924.  Originally, four aircraft had set out on the expedition (the Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and Seattle), but the Boston and Seattle crashed during the trip.  .

On September 20, 1932, Douglas was awarded a contract by TWA to build a prototype of the DC-1, a two-pilot, 12-passenger plane.  The agreement also gave TWA options for 60 additional aircraft.

Air Canada’s predecessor, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), inaugurated service carrying two passengers and mail between Vancouver and Seattle aboard a Lockheed L-10A Electra on September 1, 1937.

On September 20, 1945, a converted British Gloster Meteor, the first operational British jet fighter, and the only Allied jet fighter to see combat in World War II, made its first flight as the tested for the Rolls Royce Trent-engines that had five-bladed propellers. The aircraft pioneered turboprop power and the one-off model was retired in 1948.

American Airlines flight 723, a Convair 240, crashed on September 16, 1953, while on approach to Albany Airport in New York.  All 28 passengers and crew members died.

On September 28, 1956, William Boeing died aboard his yacht, the Taconite.  Boeing founded the Pacific Aero Products Co. in 1916, which would later become Boeing Airplane Company.

On September 18, 1959, the Douglas DC-8 entered airline service simultaneously with United Air Lines and Delta Air Lines.  The aircraft is a four-engine, long range, narrow body jet airliner.

On September 11, 1966, Collett Everman Woolman, one of the four founders of Delta Air Lines, passed away.  In 1928, Woolman purchased Huff Daland Dusters and renamed it Delta Air Service.  Woolman was born on October 8, 1889, in Bloomington, Indiana.  He grew up in Urbana, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in agriculture.

Click here to continue to Page 2Boeing’s 747, the 2000th DC-10, the Airbus Beluga, and United’s Dreamliner

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