A TWA logo from 1942. Corporate history dates from the July 16, 1930 forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport (T-A-T) and Western Air Express to form Transcontinental & Western Air (T&WA). The companies merged at the urging of Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown who was looking for bigger airlines to give airmail contracts. Charges of favoritism in the contracts was to lead to the Air Mail Scandal in which the two airlines split in 1934, although the T&WA name would stick.
Both airlines brought high profile aviation pioneers who would give the airline the panache of being called the "The Airline Run by Fliers" be known for several years for being on the cutting edge of aviation. Transcontinental, the bigger of the two, had the marquee expertise of Charles Lindbergh and was already offering a 48-hour combination of plane and train trip across the United States. Western, which was slightly older having been founded in 1925, had the expertise of Jack Frye.
On October 25, 1930, the airline offered one of the first all plane scheduled service from coast to coast -- the Lindbergh Route. The route took 36 hours and initially called for overnights in Kansas City.
TWA relocated its headquarters from New York to Kansas City, Missouri in summer 1931. (LostFlights Photo)