Friday, October 05, 2007

Nurses for FAs

I photographed a letter on display at the Museum of Flight regarding the preference of having graduate nurses as flight attendants--dated February 24, 1930. The letter was addressed to a certain W.A. Patterson, Assistant to President, Boeing Air Transport, Seattle, Washington. Interesting! Read on:

As a suggestion--I was just wondering if you had ever given any serious thought to the subject of young women as couriers. It strikes me that there would be a great psychological punch to having young women stewardesses or couriers, or whatever you want to call them, and I am certain that therea re some mighty good ones available. I have in mind a couple of graduate nurses who would make exceptional stewardesses. Of course it would be distinctly understood that there would be no reference made to their hospital training or nursing experience, but it would be a mighty fine thing to have this available, sub rosa, if necessary for air sickness.

Imagine the psychology of having young women as regular members of the crew: imagine the national publicity we could get from it, and the tremendous effect it would have on the traveling public. Also imagine the value that they would be to us in the neater and nicer method of serving food and looking out for the passengers' welfare.

I am not suggesting at all the flapper type of girl. You know nurses as well as I do, and you know that they are not give to flightiness. The average graduate nurse is a girl with some horse sense and is very practical and has seen enough of men to not be inclined to chase them around the block at every opportunity. Further, as a general rule nurses are not of the "pretty" type which lends to their usefulness in this case.

The young women whom we would select would naturally be intelligent and could handle what traffic work abroad was necessary, such as the keeping of records, filling out reports, issuing tickets, etc. etc. They would probably do this as well or better than the average young fellow. Further, while we admit to ourselves that we are going to train couriers for ultimate jobs ashore in various traffic capacities, we know between ourselves that there is anything but a dearth of opportunities in sight.

As to the qualifications of the proposed young women couriers, their first paramoung qualification would be that of a graduate nurse (although this would never be brought into foreground in advertising or anything as it sort of sounds as thought they are necessary); and, secondly, young women who have been around and are familiar with general travel--rail, steamer and air. Such young women are available here.

This is just a passing thought.

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