Western Air Ford 5-AT-B NC 9639
In the first year or so
of its life, TAT was losing money hand over fist. Not to
worry. PMG Walter
Brown had great plans for TAT. Or at least, great plans for a
transcontinental air service, sub-
sidized by air mail
payments. The problem was, Brown decided that only one carrier
such payments, and that there wasn't room for two transcontinental
airlines, at least in any of the three
sections (northern, central and southern) at any one time.
Western Air Express was already flying the
half of Brown's envisaged route. Politically, however, Brown
would rather deal with an eastern
"establishment" (what do these Californians know about business?) and
avowed that, for any line to
the mail route, there would have to be a merger between Western Air
Express and TAT.
Harris Hanshue of WAE reluctantly
agreed and TWA was created with the stock divided between
TAT and WAE and with a small
minority held by Pittsburgh Aviation Industries Corporation.
became president of
TWA. This was the beginning of what would become the "big four"
of the U.S.
airline industry, the others being
American, United and Eastern. The image of the Ford seen
Albuquerque was taken in the mid 1930s, after the old indian head logo
of the early Transcontinental
and Western Air had been replaced with the simple "TWA".