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Stewardessless: 1941

Stewardessless: 1941

July 1941. "One of the airlines uses stewards, the other two use hostesses. Municipal airport, Washington, D.C." Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Short and tight.

As a six footer plus, I will not demean their stature. But gimme a break, can't they get jackets big enough to go around them? Dime store chains look so tacky!

But hey, this was a long time ago... no accounting for corporate taste!

I can imagine a short door to the hiring hall with a sign saying, if you have to duck, don't apply here.

Speaking of which, can anyone say what ariline this was? I'd be taking one of the others if I had a choice.


Ah, the patter of little feet around the house. There's nothing like having a midget for a butler. - W.C.Fields

Sartorial sublety

High-waisted trousers are properly worn with mess jackets to avoid unsightly displays of shirt between trouser top and jacket bottom. At least one of these cummerbunds appears to be tangent to the waist of the trousers (chap on the right). They would more properly be overlapped several inches over the top of the trousers, thus avoiding the brassiere appearance cited.

That, at any rate, was comme il faut with the Army's blue and white mess uniforms. The dude in the middle has it about right.

Watch Your Head

It may just be the picture (or the pants), but these guys look like they're all on the shorter side. My guess is that anyone my height, 6'4", would simply have been too tall to work easily in the airliners of that era. I imagine the height requirements would have been less of an issue with the stewardesses.

High Waisted

Man, the cummerbunds on the outboard stewards are so high up they could double as brassieres.

(And before anybody word-checks me: yes I've also been calling it "cumberbund" all my life but Lord Google has assured me this is "common but incorrect". )

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