began in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1934 with the award of a 142-mile mail route between St. Petersburg and Daytona Beach, via Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando. Service over the route was inaugurated on October 15, 1934. The fleet consisted of two second-hand Ryan aircraft. The airline had five employees, including the president and founder, G. T. Baker.
On July 8, 1937, the company was charted under the laws of the State of Florida as National Airlines, Inc. Routes were extended to Jacksonville and to Miami in that year and from Jacksonville to New Orleans in 1938. The company relocated it's general offices and principal base of operations in Jacksonville in 1939. During World War II the carrier operated a portion of its fleet for the Air Transport Command and operated Air Corps contract schools for pilots, mechanics, radio operators and navigators.
In 1944 National became a major airline with the award of the New York-Florida route. On February 14, 1946, National inaugurated with DC-4's the first non-stop service between Miami and New York and the first four-engine commercial flights between the two cities. National was certified into Havana, Cuba, in 1946 and was awarded a new route from Miami and Tampa to New Orleans in the same year. In mid-June 1946, National moved it's General Office to Miami and four years later moved it's engine overhaul base to Miami from Jacksonville. Havana service was suspended indefinitely in 1961, after the United States and Cuba broke off diplomatic relations.
In 1947 National received permission to inaugurate the so-called "Great Circle" route over water between Miami and New York, and reduced the flying time from five to four hours. In 1950, National pioneered, on the East Coast, low night coach and excursion fares to Florida, and with a Florida summer vacation program that contributed to creating a year-round operation for the state's tourist industry.
On January 1, 1952, National became free of subsidy and was placed on a mail service rate that made it self-sufficient over it's entire system. In 1956 the National system was extended to Houston and to Boston. National leased Boeing 707 jets to become the first domestic operator of jets in the United States and inaugurated jet service between New York and Miami on December 10, 1958. L. B. Maytag, who resigned as president of Frontier Airlines in March 1962, purchased controlling interest in National on April 26, 1962. Mr. Maytag was elected president and chief executive officer on that date. Dudley Swim, of Carmel, California, was elected chairman on September 12, 1962. National, in 1964, became the first exclusively jet-powered U. S. airline.
National's success was its downfall, as all of its aircraft and equipment were paid for. A bidding war began over the takeover of National's system. In 1980 Pan American World Airways
acquired National Airlines and operated its routes poorly. Deregulation was passed and suddenly Pan American was debt ridden. This was the beginning of an eleven year downslide.Certificate:
Common Stock, issued in the 1950’sPrinter: Columbian Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: FL-Florida Subject Matter: Commercial Airlines Vignette Topic(s): Male Subject
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Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body.