88 years ago today, May 15 1930, Ellen became the first Airline Stewardess while flying from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Ellen Church was a 25-year-old registered nurse and licensed pilot that played a part in aviation history with roots in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Only men were stewards on ships and zeppelins, but Ellen convinced Boeing Air Transport that having a woman aboard could calm fearful flyers while easing some burdens of the pilots so they could focus on flying the plane.

Ellen was hired and helped put together a trial program with eight women in Cheyenne. Four of the women would handle the Cheyenne to Chicago flights, while the other four would fly between San Francisco and Cheyenne.

“We had one month to hire and train the girls, design and have their uniforms made, write a manual, work out schedules and many other things such as, even in those days, that of adequate expense accounts.”

Via uahf.org
Via uahf.org

Other airlines followed the example as did some railroads.

“Many of them found husbands right after they found jobs; few married pilots.”


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