Speed, Safety, and Comfort
The Origins of Delta Air Lines
200 Pages / 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.50 in / 22 halftones
- Hardcover /
- 9780807180075 /
- Published: October 2023
- eBook /
- 9780807181232 /
- Published: October 2023
In Speed, Safety, and Comfort: The Origins of Delta Air Lines, former Delta Boeing 767 captain and aviation historian James John Hoogerwerf traces the evolution and growth of one of America’s most successful airlines. Delta’s story began during the early twentieth century with the fight against the cotton-devouring boll weevil, which devastated the southern economy and compelled scientists to formulate calcium arsenate powder to eradicate the invasive pest. To aid in the elimination effort, Huff Daland Company, a military aircraft manufacturer, constructed the first plane specifically designed to dispense the poison from the air. Crop dusting proved so effective, Huff Daland Dusters, the world’s first crop-dusting company, rebranded as Delta Air Service in 1928 to focus more on providing commercial services, including the transport of passengers and air mail. The following year Delta began flying its first passengers from Monroe, Louisiana, eventually establishing routes across the southeastern United States. By the eve of World War II, the firm had assumed the familiar Delta Air Lines name and boasted forward-thinking management, a modern fleet of aircraft, and increased revenue from passenger ticket sales.
Now headquartered in Atlanta, Delta counts itself among the oldest and largest airlines in the world, with nearly 90,000 employees and more than 5,400 flights per day. Delta’s expansion and survival are anomalies in an industry historically dominated by government and special interests. Hoogerwerf’s masterful history of Delta’s beginnings underscores the company’s contribution to agriculture, southern industrialization, and the development of commercial aviation in the United States.
“Here at last, for the delight of both aviation history enthusiasts and academia, is a beautifully constructed and meticulously researched account of the evolution of one of the world’s greatest airlines. The author, that rarest of creatures, a pilot turned academic, brings authority to his detailed account that can only come from an aviator. His attention to detail, the prime imperative of the true historian, is refreshing, and his ability to make the connections that shaped aviation as we know it today is truly exceptional. This is a remarkable study on the evolution of an airline.” ~Dan Hagedorn, curator emeritus, The Museum of Flight and Boeing STEM Center at Boeing Field
“As a person who has spent almost half my life working at Delta and involved in many aspects of the operation, I thought I knew just about all there was to know about the company. Reading James John Hoogerwerf’s book was an enlightening experience as there was so much interesting historic information that I was not aware of.” ~Robert W. Coggin, former executive vice president of marketing, sales, and technology for Delta Air Lines and author of Flying High over the Cotton Field
“Learning about what went on and relaying it in a factual manner is so important. To step back, retire early from Delta, and write this insightful book is significant. It is rare someone takes the time in our profession to do something like that.” ~Capt. Charles Tutt, former director of operations for Delta Air Lines, 1998–2003