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Rare pictographic map of Southern California with pop-up illustration of propeller plane.

The map illustrates the routes of Western Air Express, with flights to Kansas City (12 hours), Tia Juana (1 hour), Catalina (30 minutes) and San Francisco (3 hours).

Fascinating map, showing air routes around Southern California in a whimsical style. The major tourist and commerce cities and towns from San Diego to Redlands and Santa Barbara are note, along with Mt. Lowe, Mt. Wilson, Catalina, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, etc.

Above Beverly Hills, a reference to "Doug and Mary" refers to Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Mary Pickford.

From envelope: "A Cartograph - Commemorating Southern California's Third Air Mail Anniversary. April 17, 1929".

From front of card (map verso): "Three Years Old! and one hundred times around the World! Western Air Express Air Mail"

Ruth Taylor White is one of the best known pictorial mapmakers of the period. Her work includes Our Gay Geography and numerous interesting maps of California and Hawaii.

This is among her rarest works.

Western Air Express

Western Air Express was the forerunner of Western Airlines. In 1925, the United States Postal Service began to give airlines contracts to carry air mail throughout the country. Western Airlines first incorporated in 1925 as Western Air Express by Harris Hanshue. It applied for, and was awarded, the 650-mile long Contract Air Mail Route #4 (CAM-4) from Salt Lake City, Utah to Los Angeles.

On April 17, 1926, Western's first flight took place with a Douglas M-2 airplane. It began offering passenger services a month later, when the first commercial passenger flight took place at Woodward Field. Ben F. Redman (then president of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce) and J.A. Tomlinson perched atop U.S. mail sacks and flew with pilot C.N. "Jimmy" James on his regular eight-hour mail delivery flight to Los Angeles.

The company reincorporated in 1928 as Western Air Express Corp. Then, in 1930, purchased Standard Air Lines, subsidiary of Aero Corp. of Ca. founded in 1926 by Paul E. Richter, Jack Frye and Walter Hamilton. WAE with Fokker aircraft merged with Transcontinental Air Transport to form Trans World Airlines (TWA).