Seat Pocket Pioneer: The Rose A. Benas Collection

Rose A. Benas with Secretary of Transportation Volpe, 1972. Rose A. Benas papers and Airlanes Magazines, Collection Number 09321, Box 4, Folder 11.

Rose A. Benas with Secretary of Transportation Volpe, 1972. Rose A. Benas papers and Airlanes Magazines, Collection Number 9321, Box 4, Folder 11. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

When you travel by airplane, do you enjoy the reading material stored in the seat pocket in front of you?  Your in-flight reading material that highlights tropical hotels and regional cuisine might just help you through those long minutes on the tarmac, waiting for take-off.

The American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming, has digitized and made accessible online the business and personal records from the Rose A. Benas papers and Airlanes Magazines #9321.  Ms. Benas was the editor and publisher of the first in-flight magazine, so it’s her legacy that you have to thank each time you turn those glossy pages.

Rose A. Benas was the publisher and editor of Airlanes Magazine and its successor Airworld Magazine. Airlanes was published monthly from January 1936 until October 1965. The magazine was the first “in-flight” periodical but later developed into an executive trade publication. The successor, Airworld, was intended to be an “in-flight” magazine and was carried by 10 U.S. airlines. However Airworld was suspended after 5 months.

The collection contains printed issues of Airlanes Magazine (1936-1965) and Airworld Magazine (1966). These monthly periodicals contained articles and advertisements on travel destinations, as well as information of general aviation interest. The publications document the development of commercial airline travel. There are also Airlanes Publishing Company records, correspondence, biographical information, photographs, news releases, and reports about Rose A. Benas’ career and work with commercial aviation publications.

Ms. Benas Test Crew certificate. Rose A. Benas papers and Airlanes Magazines, Accession Number 09321, Box 4, Folder 2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Ms. Benas’ Test Crew certificate. Rose A. Benas papers and Airlanes Magazines, Accession Number 09321, Box 4, Folder 2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Links to digitized items and additional information about the Rose A. Benas papers and Airlanes Magazines can be found in the on-line finding aid at: http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah09321.xml

-Jamie Greene, AHC Digital Programs

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