The Groovy Age of Travel #1: Flight Attendants of Yesterday

I was recently meandering around the blogosphere when I came across an excellent post entitled "The Glamour of Flight" by Dark Roasted Blend. It featured images of stewardesses from from the early days of commercial aviation, and I couldn't help but be startled by how amazingly different things were. This couldn't possibly be how they really dressed, how they really looked.... could it?

These women were obviously dressed in a manner to please a customer base that was almost exclusively male. When the airplane ceased being a sort of gentleman's club in the late 1970's, the role of the stewardess quickly changed.

Goodbye, cocktail waitresses of the sky. Hello, passenger care and safety professionals.


  1. As a child I had to travel overseas on my own on numerous occasions and I was lucky enough to have foxy women like that take care of me. These pictures evoke powerful memories of a boy who used to believe he was flying with angels.

  2. AnonymousJuly 04, 2008

    I am reminded here of an old paperback (the cover art) called Coffee, Tea or Me. I think the art there would grace this post or a future related one perfectly. I will see if I can find it online.


  3. Coffee, Tea or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses (1967)

    It's still in print. Great observation, Bill.

    Arthur, I'm sure you have some wonderful memories of these "cocktail waitress in the sky"; I'm envious.

    I have been fairly oblivious to the fact that there was this radical change from sexy stewardess to serious flight attendant. I remember a few years ago, a Spielberg movie called "Catch Me if You Can" with DeCaprio and Hanks had some pretty swingin' stewardesses in it, and I thought it was just being silly - they didn't REALLY look like that, right?

    My, how times have changed.

  4. I do wish I could have flown back in this era. I haven't flown since the 1999 and 2000, but it certainly wasn't anything like this then. I'm sure it's even less so today. This is just another thing I miss about the good 'ole days.

  5. The sad thing is that some of the flight attendants I see today look like they might be the same women forty years later.