The American civil aviation industry in the 1920s was, in all respects and purposes, non-existent.
When Los Angeles Airport (LAX) was opened on October 1, 1928, it was like any other American airport – a field. The LAX historian Ethel Pattison described it as a dirt spot with roaming rabbits, which was a good standard for that time. But how times have changed.
Here we tell the story of LAX as it celebrates its 90th anniversary – past, present and future – with fascinating vintage photographs and views of what awaits the users of the hub in the coming years.
The dedication of Mines Field (L.A. International Airport from 1941) saw a large crowd being treated in 1928 for formation flying
Aerial view of Mines Field and its surroundings in 1930. The first real building of the airport, Hangar 1, was opened the year before. The airport had a 2000 ft runway and a hangar room for 40 aircraft
The earliest images show that the description of Pattison's rabbit house was just right.
Although it was a rabbit field with a 2000-meter runway and parking for 40 aircraft.
The oldest picture was taken in 1928 – a year after Charles Lindbergh was the first to fly non-stop from New York to Paris, the year that Delta carried out America's first air service ever planned and a year before the first real building of the airport, Hangar 1, was established.
The picture shows the crowds gathered at the airport, which was then known as Mines Field, because of its dedication as airplanes hang overhead. It was still more or less the era of magnificent men in their flying machines.
There was more razzamatazz at the airport in 1936 when it organized the National Air Races, an event with stunt pilots, parachute jumps, airships and the fastest planes of the day competing against each other.
The photo's of the event show wing hikers and formation flies, plus many neat hats.
The 1936 National Air Races on Mines Field. The event was broadcast in the officer's position in the middle of the photo. In the background, smoke from bombs is dropped by military aircraft that show war maneuvers
Navy Voughts fly in formation to the National Air Races 1936 in Mines Field
Stunt pilots perform on a glider while it is placed on a truck during the 1936 National Air Races at Mines Field
Our series then jumps forward to 1950, with a picture of a hairdresser at the airport – passengers like to look good for their flight.
Another photo, taken in 1953, shows how the airport grew rapidly during this decade. It shows cars & trucks passing through the $ 3,500,000 Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel on the south side of LAX during a final test prior to the opening.
By this time, the airport had become a planned airport terminal and was renamed Los Angeles Airport – it was Mines Field until 1941 – but if you were to catch a plane, it would have been a world apart from the modern experience.
For example, airport security did not really exist.
Because people want to look smart before they board, a barber shop has been set up at the airport so they can get a trim before they are dropped off. This photo was made in 1950
Cars & trucks go through the $ 3,500,000 Sepulveda Boulevard Tunnel on the south side of LAX in a final test prior to the opening. This photo was made in 1953
International passengers arriving at LAX had to prepare and have their documents checked in the Customs Building. This photo was made in 1959
Almost all passengers arrived at the airport by car, and as air travel became more popular, huge lines formed at the sales and pick-up locations. This photo was made in 1959
In general, it was not taken seriously until the end of the 1950s, when pocket studies began to be implemented. X-ray machines and metal detectors were not legally required until 1974 at U.S airports.
In the early days at LAX, passengers had just walked through the terminal and boarded their planes on the platform, their luggage being loaded into the hold by a baggage handler.
Basic safety came courtesy of police officers across the terminal.
Some of the photo's here were made in the sixties and show passengers navigating at an airport that has grown enormously.
The main terminal complex was built in 1961 and heralded an era of duty-free shops, moving walkways and escalators.
An aerial photograph of LAX taken in 1963. The main terminal complex was built in 1961
A vintage image from 1963 showing upcoming international passengers who have their luggage inspected in the Custom building at LAX
The 420 foot moving sidewalk in the American Airlines terminal in October 1964. It offered an efficient way for passengers to get from the checkout to the satellite buildings
The photo shows the baggage control area of United Airlines in Terminal 7 in 1965
Passengers are preparing to exchange their money at a US branch bank in a satellite terminal at LAX in 1968, where foreign airlines were established
An underground walkway was constructed for departing passengers to get from the ticket area to the gates and for arriving passengers to get from the gate to the street. This image was made on June 21, 1963
Passengers go to the baggage carousel after arriving on the first flight of United Airlines to land in 1961 (left). Travelers would dress in their finest clothes to fly. The picture on the right was also taken in 1961
In the passenger area of the international satellite terminal in LAX in 1962. Several pilots gather around a switch machine
In general, the security of the airport was only taken seriously at the end of the 1950s, when the search for bags began. X-ray machines and metal detectors were not legally required until 1974 at U.S airports. This photo was taken in 1963
A Pan Am card counter on LAX. This photo was taken on March 28, 1977
But just like the users of the airport in recent decades, passengers still regarded air traffic as a luxury and dressed for the occasion.
These images show men and women who move through the airport on their Sunday most beautiful.
How the times have changed.
The flight experience of today is very different from the past. LAX now has nine terminals including the Tom Bradley International Terminal
The airport is ready to transform thanks to a $ 14 billion renovation program. This image shows what the CTA (Central Terminal Area) when it is ready in 2023 looks like at night illuminated
This image shows the future APM (Automated People Mover) that will facilitate access to the Central Terminal Area of nearby parking lots
Today LAX has nine terminals – including a private suite for VIP's with driver-driven BMW's that bring passengers across the platform to their plane – more than 62 restaurants and shops, an observation deck with 360-degree views and & # 39; therapy dogs & # 39; they offer emotional happiness and support to nervous flyers.
However, the airport will once again completely transform, thanks to a $ 14 billion renovation program.
In the near future, passengers can look forward to a new $ 1.6 billion concession at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which will add 12 new airplane gates and children's playgrounds, an electric driver without a driver – the & # 39; automated people mover & # 39; – the access between the central terminal from nearby car parks and face recognition check-ins rolled out by more airlines (BA and Lufthansa have already introduced it).
It is an airport that is certainly up-tiddly-up-up.
This view shows the APM on the road. The fleet of the system will consist of 44 vehicles that are fully electrically powered, 98% recyclable and generate part of their own capacity through regenerative breaking. The building in this view is the Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF) – West, which offers a connected and convenient location outside the terminals, where passengers, benefactors and airport staff can be dropped off, picked up or parked and then drive the APM to the airport. It will be opened in 2020