Posts in the category "Museums":

California’s regional airlines at SFO Museum

SFO MUSEUM CA REGIOAL PSA

There’s yet another great exhibit at San Francisco International Airport,courtesy of the SFO Museum.

This one is all about the California regional airlines that flew between the 1950s and the 1980s.

According to museum notes, although numerous regional airlines existed during the late 1920s, they mostly went bankrupt or merged into larger, trunk-carrier airlines by the time of the Great Depression. But California-based commuter air service resurfaced during the economic boom of the 1950s and 60s, bringing PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) in San Diego, Air California (later AirCal) in Newport Beach, and Pacific Air Lines (later Air West and Hughes Airwest) in San Francisco to compete within the California Corridor with the larger carriers, including TWA (Trans World Airlines), United Air Lines, and Western Air Lines.

The Catch Our Style exhibit is on exhibit at SFO’s Aviation Museum & Library (pre-security, Departures Level 3) and presents the legacy of these California commuter airlines through a collection of flight and ground crew uniforms, inflight service items and equipment, ephemera, and promotional materials.

Here are some images from the exhibit and a link to others.

SFO Museum regional Hughes

Hughes Airwest flight bag and R.O.N. (Remain Over Night) amenity kit 1970s vinyl, metal. Courtesy: SFO Museum –

Hughes Airwest air hostess boots  1970 Designed by Mario Zamparelli, Los Angeles Manufactured by Portrait Clothes, a Division of Barco California plastic, leather. Courtesy SFO Museum

Hughes Airwest air hostess boots 1970. Designed by Mario Zamparelli, Los Angeles. plastic, leather. Courtesy SFO Museum

SFO MUSEUM SEATS

PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) Boeing 727 seats 1970s. plastic, metal, vinyl, polyester . Courtesy SFO Museum

Step on it! Oregon’s World of Speed Museum

Petersen & Fitz Top Fuel Dragster, nicknamed -The Northwest Terror- after driver Herm Petersen

Petersen & Fitz Top Fuel Dragster, nicknamed -The Northwest Terror- after driver Herm Petersen. Courtesy World of Speed Museum

It’s not just airplanes that go fast…

There’s a new museum for horsepower hounds, speed fiends and fans of NASCAR, the Indianapolis 500 and anything with a motor that goes fast.

Located 15 miles south of Portland, Oregon, in Wilsonville, the World of Speed Museum is home to nearly 100 historic cars and motorcycles, along with race-themed simulators and a land speed record timeline.

A shrine to speed, the 80,000-square-foot museum is the first to document the history of motor sports in the Pacific Northwest. It also covers the story of motorsports that have roots in other parts of the country.

“You can see Nascar cars at the Nascar Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can see Indy cars in Indianapolis, and you can see drag cars at Pomona (California),” said museum curator Ron Huegli. “We’ve got it all under one roof, including two notable hydroplanes on loan from the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum near Seattle.”

U-60 Miss Thirftway Hydroplane Boat and U-1 Miss Budweiser Hydroplane Boat.

U-60 Miss Thriftway Hydroplane Boat and U-1 Miss Budweiser Hydroplane Boat. Courtesy World of Speed Museum

The museum’s Daytona display is a winner: a 15-foot-tall, 44-foot-wide structure built with the exact incline of the original 2.5-mile long tri-oval speedway in Florida.

_World of Speed Interior_NASCAR and Daytona Banking

NASCAR and Daytona Banking. World of Speed Museum

The four restored vehicles mounted in the exhibit are from legendary Nascar drivers, and include Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2000 Chevy Impala, Jim Vandiver’s 1974 Dodge Charger, Terry Labonte’s 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo and Cale Yarborough’s 1979 Oldsmobile 442.

Other gems on display at the museum (some are on loan, while others are in the permanent collection) include Mickey Thompson’s famous record-breaking Assault and Indianapolis race cars. Both were built by Rolla Vollstedt in the basement shop at his home in Portland.

Rolla Vollstedt Indy Car  driven by Len Sutton in the 1965 Indy 500.

Rolla Vollstedt Indy Car driven by Len Sutton in the 1965 Indy 500. World of Speed Museum

“We also have ‘Old Number One’ on display in our showcase salon area,” said Huegli. “It’s a 1929 Bentley built as a race car that took first place at the 24-hour Le Mans race in 1929 and 1930. It’s not something many people have seen beyond looking at it on the Internet.”

1929 Bentley-Old Number One- built  as a race car. In 1929, the car took first place at Le Mans with Woolf Barnato and Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin behind the wheel.

1929 Bentley-Old Number One- built as a race car. In 1929, the car took first place at Le Mans with Woolf Barnato and Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin behind the wheel. World of Speed Museum

In addition to three real race cars set up as simulators (a 1962 Lotus Formula racing simulator, Adrian Fernandez’s 1995 Lola Indy Car and Johnny Benson’s 1998 Nascar Ford Taurus) the museum also has a gallery celebrating classic songs about fast cars including Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88,” The Beach Boys’ “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” and Commander Cody’s classic “Hot Rod Lincoln.”

Gearhead factor aside, there are some broader themes the World of Speed Museum is hoping to drive home.

“Motorsports represent American ingenuity,” said Huegli. “You’re presented with a problem and you solve it in a quest to go faster, which is the whole idea behind racing.”

There’s also the business side of motorsports. Nascar’s top earners pull down more than $170 million in aggregate earnings, endorsements and other income streams, and Nascar itself commands billions from television rights, in spite of faltering viewership.

“It’s huge,” said Huegli. “It’s hard to add it all up, but there are ticket sales at events, the billions of dollars generated by manufacturing related to motorsports, the budgets of all the race teams and the billions of dollars companies spend on sponsorships and advertising related to motorsports racing.”

Add in Formula 1 racing, which had revenue last year of close to $2 billion alone and, said Huegli, “the zeroes just keep adding up.”

(A slightly different version of my story about the World of Speed Museum first appeared on CNBC.)

Art Deco on exhibit at SFO Airport

SFO airplane cocktail shaker

Airplane cocktail shaker, 1930s. Courtesy SFO Museum

 

A new exhibition at San Francisco International Airport displays fashionable and everyday items that evoke the Art Deco era, from works by French sculptors to airline-shaped cocktail shakers and streamlined radios.

SFO Deco radio

Art Deco Bakelite radio, 1930 Courtesy SFO Museum

Need a quick quick recap on Art Deco?

The exhibition notes tell us that this design style popular in the 1920s and ’30s was ‘dynamic and modern’ and exuded ‘glamour, pleasure, and escape,’ drawing inspiration from the mechanized world but also upon historic European styles, ancient and distant cultures, and contemporary avant-garde art. Art Deco permeated all mediums, including fine art, sculpture, architecture, interior design, furnishings, fashion, graphic design and mass-produced goods and we’ve got some great examples here Life and Style in the Age of Art Deco exhibition the SFO Museum has put together at San Francisco International Airport Terminal 3, Boarding Area F (post-security) through August 16, 2015.

SFO deco compacts

Assorted Art Deco compacts and eye shadow containers. Courtesy SFO Museum

 

(All photos courtesy of SFO Museum)

SFO Woman petting gazelle

Woman petting a gazelle c. 1930s Pierre Le Faguays (pseudonym: Fayral. Courtesy SFO Museum

Smithsonian offers eye-level view of Spirit of St. Louis

Spirit of St. Louis Image by Mark Avino, Smithsonian Institution

Spirit of St. Louis Image by Mark Avino, Smithsonian Institution

The “Spirit of St. Louis” – the plane in which a 26-year-old Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo transatlantic flight in May, 1927 – is one of the most popular artifacts at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

The plane is usually suspended from the gallery ceiling, but for the next five months the plane will be on the floor at eye level while it undergoes preservation work in preparation for an updated exhibition in the museum’s central space, also known as the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.

The last time the plane was lowered to the gallery floor was in 1992.

Spirit of St. Louis. Image by Mark Avino, Smithsonian Institution

Spirit of St. Louis. Image by Mark Avino, Smithsonian Institution

Museum Monday: Egyptian Revival at SFO Airport

SFO MUSEUM EGYPTIAN CIGARETTE CASES

On display at SFO Airport: Egyptian-inspired cigarette packs. Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum’s newest exhibit at SFO Airport highlights the design style known as Egyptian Revival and features objects ranging from nineteenth-century mantel clocks and ornate Victorian table stands to Art Deco beaded purses and cigarettes and cigarette cases.

SFO MUSEUM Egyptian cigar bands

Cleopatra, the Rosetta Stone and King Tutankahamun’s tomb are just a few reasons why the West has a thing for Ancient Egypt. And, according to the notes for this exhibit, “No other ancient civilization’s art and architecture has captivated the Western world in quite the same manner,” and influenced everything from commercial buildings, movie theaters, films and opera to decorative arts, clothing, mass-produced items, operas, and advertisements.

SFOMuseum Egypt beaded purse

Beaded purse c. 1920s From the collection of Jennifer Whitehair – courtesy SFO Museum

Egyptian Revival: An Everlasting Allure is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport and will be on view through July 5, 2015.

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