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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Airport Transport: 1963

Airport Transport: 1963

      Our third look at the Dulles Airport "mobile lounges" that moved passengers from terminal to plane. Consisting of a body made the Budd Co. of Philadelphia mated to a Chrysler chassis powered by two 172-hp engines, each 37-ton, 90-passenger unit cost $232,733; an engineering prototype constructed in 1961 cost $1.6 million.

"Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Virginia, 1958-63. Eero Saarinen, architect. Mobile lounges." Photo by Balthazar Korab. View full size.

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RE: Mobile Lounge Lizard

As Dave noted, they are still in use between terminals. However, on at least one occasion as recently as 2006, one did drive up to a plane so passengers could scuttle on and be transported to the main terminal (we had just arrived on a flight very early in the morning).

Since Dulles is one of my local airports, I am forced to deal with them on a fairly regular basis. I hate the damn things.


I suppose I have to admit that I'm old. When you rode in a vehicle you see on a vintage photo site.

Mobile Lounge Lizard

"Wonder if they are still in use?" - yes they seem to be in use. Take a look at an aerial view of Dulles from your favorite map app to see them in action, looking like little critters.

[The ones in use today shuttle between terminal buildings, and don't meet the aircraft. - Dave]

Still there, still confusing.

We rode one of these a few weeks ago between concourses when we flew through IAD. Mrs. A didn't know what to make of the contraption... Is it a room? Is it a bus? The kids enjoyed it, anyway.

Good old Helvetica

As a graphic designer I can tell you that Helvetica has been around since about 1960, and a few years before that under a different name, so its use here is no surprise. A great typeface, but sometimes overused.


Not sure this usage is surprising: both Helvetica and Univers (a close match) were released in 1957, and most architects are notorious font junkies. Many believe themselves good graphic designers, a woeful misconception.

Wonder if they are still in use.

Rode them from 87-92 whenever traveling through Dulles.

Numbers on the wall

Either this was a surprisingly early use of Helvetica Bold, or this photo was taken several years after the airport opened.

[These photos were taken when the airport opened, during the winter of 1962-63. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD 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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