Transcontinental & Western Air  Ford 5-AT-B    NC 9639      (c/n   17)


                                       In the first year or so of its life, TAT was losing money hand over fist.  Not to worry.  PMG Walter
                                       Folger 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 could receive
                                       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
                                       western 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 be
                                       awarded 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.  Hanshue
                                       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 above at
                                       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".