Detailed vintage map of world air routes, with distances, including established and projected routes.
The chart was published by the Hydrographic Office, under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy, in May of 1939. The map calls itself the first edition in the lower right corner, however, it was printed in 1943 after the War had started.
The map is important for understanding global communication on the eve of the Second World War, which would begin in September of that year.
The projected routes are of particular interest because they hint at where official policymakers wanted to extend air routes in the near future. For instance, a route between Seattle and Tokyo is shown. A spiderweb of projected routes across the South Pacific to Australia and New Zealand is also included. Interestingly, most of the projected routes are long haul routes over open ocean, which were implemented as aerospace technology caught up.