Olde bagges

History | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s

1940s

From a decade when most passengers were more concerned about dropping bombs on the enemy rather than collecting bags.
 

 

Det Danske Flyselskab/SAS

Denmark, 1947

Stolen on 17 May 1947 from the Danish Airlines Vikingship OY-DFI DC-4-1009 Skymaster on a flight from Copenhagen to New York.

From the early days of SAS, when the various Scandinavian airlines still retained their separate identities. Danish Airlines' partners were Aktiebolaget Aerotransport from Sweden and Det Norske Luftfartselskap from Norway. SAS was formed in September 1946 and fully merged the operations of its three founding airlines in 1951.

The flight report that accompanies this bag (third picture) reveals why bags were necessary during the early decades of air travel. "Altitude 8000 feet", it says, "We are cruising at a ground speed of 208 mph... we have 44 mph headwind."

That means at least 23 hours of flying time to cover the 3840 miles (6181) kilometres between Copenhagen and New York, not counting stops in blustery Scotland and windswept Newfoundland. All at 8000 feet (2438 m) - right in the middle of the weather.

Homer Goetz, the proud owner of this bag, has also found a postcard of the very plane where this bag previously made its home, as well as a timetable from the period.

Homer says that this plane ended up in Congo, where it was withdrawn from service in 1977. 

Owner: Homer Goetz

Air France

France, 1948

"Everything begins with this bag", says baggist Gilles Beger. "My grandfather got it from a flight he took and then it gave it to me when I was a child. I didn't start collecting bags then, but later on, when I became a more frequent flyer. So, I presume that the sickbag virus is in the family genotype."

The logo then used by Air France was the crevette (shrimp), which was replaced in the early 1960s by the company name without logo, and then in the 1980s by the current barcode design.

Gilles also has the ticket that went with this bag.

Owner: Gilles Beger

MG 131 cartridge bag

Baggists the world over have been scratching their heads over the identity of this Second World War "barfbag".

German baggist Walter Brinker had bought it on eBay in the hope that it was a highly collectible item used by ancient airsick aviators.

Suggestions (apart from barfbag) included an air filter, a vacuum cleaner bag, and a waste bag for onboard litter. After all, one can hardly imagine that pilots returning from bombing British cities would want to mess up the pristine English countryside below by dropping sweet wrappers on it.

Sadly, it turns out it's not a barfbag at all. Walter checked with Jürgen Willisch of the German Air Force Museum in Berlin. He said that it is a bag used to hold spent cartridges from the the MG 131, a heavy machine gun used in German planes during the war.

Ruth, wife of British baggist Aidan Stradling, was the only one to guess the correct use.

Congratulations, Ruth. And commiserations, Walter. The search for those rare wartime barfbags continues.

History | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s

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