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A Chrysler Roadster and a Boeing Airliner

The automobile and the airplane both came of age at the same time and by the early 1930s, both had come to be reliable forms on transportation. We believe that this photo, which shows both, was taken as a promotion for United Air Lines who along with Pan American and Western Air Express were some of the first commercial passenger carriers in the country.

We do not have much of any aircraft knowledge, so the Boeing airplane we are going to leave to our aircraft minded readers to identify. The Chrysler appears to be one of the two 1931-32 6-cylinder models the maker sold at the time. Chrysler was founded by Walter Chrysler during 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation. The Chrysler came on the market after Walter Chrysler who was at the Maxwell Motor Company for a time, introduced the advanced and well-engineered six-cylinder car bearing his own name. The Maxwell was built for the last time during the 1925 model year. More can be learned at

The photo is courtesy of the Benjamin Ames collection (scroll down).

4 responses to “A Chrysler Roadster and a Boeing Airliner

  1. The tri-motor biplane is one of the most popular commercial airliners of the late 1920s and early 1930s – the Boeing Model 80.

    This specific aircraft is the Model 80-A, which carried 18 passengers, and used Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial engines. It carries the livery of United Air Lines, so we know the photo dates from after March 28, 1931 (the incorporation date of United Air Lines).

    Boeing designed and built the aircraft beginning in 1928 for service in its own Boeing Air Transport. Boeing merged BAT with National Air Transport, Varney Airlines and Pacific Air Transport to form United Aircraft and Transport Corporation in 1929.

    United Air Lines was the first airline to hire female stewards (“stewardess”) for its passenger service. Ellen Church, a registered nurse, became the world’s first female flight attendant in 1930.

    Thanks for posting the photo!
    Tom M.

  2. What a great Image! Would someone tell me what type Boeing is the one pictured? I’m used to seeing Ford Trimotors and Fokkers as airliners of 1931.

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