Today in 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed the Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 33.5 hours.
That same year, Pan American World Airways, Inc. began its services when the airline, founded by Juan Trippe, chartered a small seaplane to carry mail from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba.
A few months later, in January 1928, Pan Am took its first fare-paying passengers over this route, a journey of 90 miles that lasted one hour and ten minutes. The same year, Trippe engaged the services of Charles A. Lindbergh and the famed American aviator served as a technical advisor on Pan Am’s Board of Directors for the next 41 years.
From its founding in 1927 through its closing in 1991, Pan Am was a pioneer in the development of aviation equipment, air routes, commercial passenger service, navigation techniques, and communication systems.
The University of Miami holds the airline’s archives, some 1500 boxes of administrative, legal, financial, technical, and promotional materials as well as internal publications, photographs, audiovisual material and graphic material form this vast resource.
Recently, National Historical Publications and Records Commission (part of the National Archives) funded a project to catalog this material.
Image: Photograph of Charles Lindbergh and The Spirit of St. Louis after Landing in Paris, 1927. National Archives.