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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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Eastern Air Lines: 1941

Eastern Air Lines: 1941

July 1941. "An airliner taking on baggage and fuel. Washington, D.C., municipal (National) airport." Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

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Lovable Tug

The tow tractor (tug) at the left appears to be a Clark. So homely that it is lovable.

Missleading Title

If memory serves: the open door is for crew. Baggage is loaded further to the rear. The title obviously refers to all that is going on, not just what is shown.

[You're confusing the caption with the title (not to mention misspelling "misleading"). Delano's photos show baggage being loaded at the front of the plane. - Dave]

DC-3 cargo loading

In DC3s (as with any aircraft) the weight and balanced distribution of that weight is of vital importance. If you are old enough to have flown on one of those old airliners, you might remember being weighed at check in. Prior to departure, the aircraft had to be loaded so that the center of gravity was properly located.

There was no lower cargo deck on the DC-3. All baggage and cargo was stored between the cabin and the flight deck and aft of the cabin in the tail section.

Here is a manual from Quebecair from 1961

Lazy Susan

The far wheel (the one without the chocks) of the DC-3 appears to be resting on one of the short-lived turntables that were built into the apron at the newly opened D.C. airport.

When it was time to leave, the captain would apply the brake of the wheel that was on the turntable and gun the opposite engine, thereby "turning on a dime" (and theoretically reducing stress on the stationary/pivot landing gear and tire).

At least that's the way it was supposed to happen. They didn't last long, paved over like a lot of other ideas that didn't work out so well.

Polished natural metal glory!

It's good to see such a clear shot of an early variant of the DC-3 powered by Wright Cyclone engines.

She comes with lots of baggage

Is that really the baggage hold right behind the pilots?

I wouldn't want to be a cockpit crew of a plane that crashes with all that behind me. Also I would think that, plus the weight of the engines and wing assembly that far forward with very little weight in the tail would throw off the plane's balance.

Hopefully, that door forward leads down to a baggage hold in the plane's belly. If so, it looks like a very cumbersome way to load and unload baggage.

[Interesting that you mention crashing. - Dave]

The G

Is for GREAT SILVER FLEET, Eastern's pride and joy.

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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