San Francisco International Airport

Museum Monday: Math at the SFO Museum

All photos Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has kicked off yet another exhibition that might make you miss your next flight. This one is all about mathematics.

Courtesy SFO Museum

Mathematics: Vintage and Modern displays slide rules, early calculating machines, and other math-related objects from the past. Included are teaching tools that help students learn arithmetic, geometry, and calculus, as well as vintage children’s toys and games. To make brains work harder, several works of art in this exhibit demonstrate complex mathematics through sculptural forms. Examples from modern math—knot theory, topology, and ambiguous models—illustrate how math deals with the very dimensions of space. 

Klein Bottle by Cliff Stoll

Here are some more images from the exhibit.

Thacher’s calculating instrument  c. 1903
Millionaire calculating machine  c. 1904

Today we use our lightweight telephones as calculators. But in 1893, Swiss engineer Otto Steigler’s invention, the Millionaire, likely seemed miraculous.

“Made of brass and weighing sixty-seven pounds, this revolutionary machine could perform a direct multiplication,” the exhibit notes tell us. “With a single turn of the hand crank, it multiplied two numbers together and calculated results up to eighteen digits. For decades, banks balanced their books and figured compound interest on Millionaires. “

Rubik’s Cube and other mathematical puzzles

Mathematics: Vintage and Modern is located post-security in Terminal 2 of San Francisco International Airport through May 1, 2022.

The exhibition is accessible to ticketed passengers but non-ticketed guests can arrange access by emailing curator@flysfo.com,

Airports celebrate July 4th and the freedom to travel

Like you, airports are celebrating the freedom to travel (again) and also marking July 4th.

And we’re gathering up some of the best July 4th messages airports are sharing.

Kicking us off: the patriotic water feature show in Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport. Also: a cool mural you can watch being made at Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome featuring some celebrity travelers. And aviation-themed matchbooks from the SFO Museum collection at San Francisco International Airport.

And these great aviation-themed matchbooks from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Stuck at The Airport: Tuesday Tidbits

Still not vaccinated? MIA Airport can help

A COVID-19 vaccination site at Miami International Airport will be providing free one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals 18 and older daily through June 18, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for June 8-9. Walk-ups are accepted with no appointment or pre-registration necessary.

The vaccination site is located at MIA’s Concourse D, 4th Floor Auditorium, upstairs from Door 1.

Fresh exhibits at SFO Airport, courtesy SFO Museum

United Air Lines uniform  1973
Designed by Jean Louis (1907–97)

New spaces at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) means more places for the SFO Museum to put art and exhibitions.

The inaugural exhibition in the new Harvey Milk Terminal 1 gallery at SFO features bright an colorful flight attendant uniforms from the past from the 1960s to 1970s.

Braniff International Airways “727 Braniff Place Blue Pant Collection” uniform  1972
Designed by Emilio Pucci (1914–92)
Braniff International Airways “Classic Collection” uniform  1968
Designed by Emilio Pucci (1914–92)

Look for Flight Patterns: Airline Uniforms from 1960-1970s post-security in SFO Terminal 1 through mid-March 2022.

SFO Museum also just launched a next exhibition titled Stoneware Stories in the pre-security area of the International Terminal on the Departures Level. This exhibition will be on view through January 23, 2022. 

Pieces on exhibis include antebellum alkaline-glazed stoneware made by Thomas Chandler, David Drake, Collin Rhodes Factory, and other Edgefield District pottery manufacturers from South Carolina.

(Photos courtesy SFO Museum)

Travel news from airports here and there

Tuesday already?

Stuck at the Airport is still doing some catch-up up on news, snaps, and travel tidbits airports shared on Monday.

Like the pink cherry blossom lighting at Reagan National Airport (DCA).

The links to short films courtesy of the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The Women’s History Month factoid about Willa Brown – who was the first Black woman to earn both a pilot license (1938) and a commercial license (1939), courtesy of Long Beach Airport (LGB).

And the announcement from Tampa International Airport (TPA) about TPA To Go – a new food delivery service in the airport.

SFO Museum presents Early American Motorcycles

Flying Merkel twin-cylinder racer 1912- courtesy SFO Museum

If we can’t fly anywhere right now, how about a ride on a motorcycle?

A new exhibition by the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) explores the history of motorcycling from the 1890s to 1915. On display are fourteen motorcycles that were made prior to 1916, rare engines, and photographs from the pioneering era of motorcycling.

Harley-Davidson Model 6  1910 – Courtesy SFO Museum

From the exhibition notes:

Along with the automobile, the motorcycle was one of the earliest and most exciting applications of another new invention, the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. Motorcycle technology progressed rapidly during the early 1900s, and as motorcycling gained traction, riding evolved from a novelty to a hobby, sport, and reliable source of transportation. By the 1910s, there were approximately 100 motorcycle manufacturers in the United States, all vying for consumer attention with distinctive attributes and designs.

Today, early American motorcycles are prized by collectors around the world who showcase their bikes on vintage rides, endurance runs, and at special events.

Here are some photos of the motorcycles on display in the Early American Motorcycles exhibition in the International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition will be on view through September 19, 2021.

Jefferson twin-cylinder racer  1914 – Courtesy SFO Museum
Pierce Four Cylinder 1911- Courtesy SFO Museum
Two women on a Pierce Four and sidecar  c. 1910
Courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Museum