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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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New 737: 1969

New 737: 1969

First generation 737 - Air California, Orange County, March 1969

I travelled an Air California flight from Orange County Airport (now John Wayne?) to San Francisco in March 1969 in the just-introduced Boeing 737. This airline is long gone, as is, I suspect, the skyline view from the boarding area where I took this shot. The 737 has proven to be a design success in over 40 years of refinement on the same airframe. Am I right in thinking the 737 was introduced before the 747? Love the paint scheme and engine configuration of this first-generation 737. View full size.

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Love that paint job!

I flew Air Cal many times, along with PSA and Hughes Air West. These airlines are just part of history. I loved going to the OC airport, climbing to the second floor of the terminal and watching the arrivals and departures, free from security and related hassles. You could see the passengers boarding, the engines start and so on. My dad would take me down there to pick up a business colleague or friend. Later on, I would go on my own to hang out on the second story and watch arrivals and departures. I fondly remember PSA and their Lockheed Electra.

737 First

Islander800 you are correct in your thinking. The 737 entered airline service in February 1968. The 747 entered commercial service in January 1970 (for PanAm of course).

The paint job on the Air California 737 is a beauty. It reminds me of the Southern Pacific's Coast Daylight, particularly the steam locomotives for that train. I looked on Air Cal's Wikipedia page for some sort of connection between the two companies but its not there.

Santa Ana

Yes, that is John Wayne airport, Santa Ana, back when it was still out in the sticks. I am an airline pilot and fly 737s in and out of SNA all the time. The airport is today completely enveloped by commercial development and requires a strict noise-abatement take-off procedure be performed to avoid a monetary fine. Worthy of note is that this airport was the first sanctioned drag strip in California, opening in 1950 using a runway as the drag strip. LIFE magazine did a feature on the "Santa Ana Drags" back in the mid-50s and the photos can be seen in the LIFE archive. Drag racing moved to Orange County International Raceway in the 1960s but it is long gone, replaced by said commercial development.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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