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Step Inside Swanky Airline Sales Lounges of the 1950s

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Welcome back to Monochromes, a Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the Library of Congress's photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of old black-and-white photos of architecture and interior design of yesteryear. Have a find you want to share? Hit up the tipline; we'd love to hear from you.


Up until it got swallowed by United Airlines in 1961, Capital Airlines was the most widely-traveled domestic carrier. In 1957, when (if vintage brochures are to be believed) flight travel included florid buffet spreads and men in tuxedos shaking up martinis to order, the architecture photographer of the Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner Collection shot the airline's NYC and New Jersey sales lounges. Here, wood paneling, modernist travel posters, and spiky chandeliers are abundant. Basically it's exactly the place where one would imagine beautiful women in pillbox hats, white gloves, cat-eye sunglasses, and tweed suits would go to plan their summer holidays in Pasadena or Vail.

· Capital Air Lines, 595 5th Ave., New York [Library of Congress Gottscho-Schleisner Collection]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]
· All Dwelling posts [Curbed National]
· All 1950s posts [Curbed National]