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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Alda Jane Lewis Papers

Identifier: 2012-03-19
The Alda Jane Lewis Papers focuses on materials collected by Lewis from 1946 to 1950 during her time as a United Airlines (UAL) flight attendant.

The material covers Lewis's training and active service as a Mainliner stewardess and includes personnel records, such as incident reports, compliment letters, and stewardess air logs, and six (6) photographs which depict Lewis in her stewardess uniform. There is a large amount of United Airlines documentation, including training and on-the-job reference materials, such as how to handle passenger discomfort, employee memos and newsletters, flight menus, route maps, and UAL brochures about the Mainliner. Additional documentation includes material related to the Air Line Stewardesses Association (labor union), including a 1949 labor agreement booklet and the constitution and by-laws of the association and various ephemera, such as a Washington Pilots Association decal, two typed sheets of assorted recipes, and two books.

While most of the collection relates to Lewis's career and United Airlines, there are a few materials for two other airlines; Pan American World Airways and Northwest Airlines, including postcards featuring various locations serviced by the airlines, in-flight menus, decals, and route schedules. At the end of the collection are some personal materials.


  • 1939-1984


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.75 Cubic Feet (1 full-width legal size document box, 1 half-width legal size document box, and 1 oversized folder)


Alda Jane Lewis (1923-2012) was born in Ohio and worked as a United Airlines flight attendant. The collection contains photographs, manuscripts, reports, maps, personnel records, and brochures collected during her career.

Biographical Note: Alda Jane Lewis

Alda Jane (Gabel) Lewis was born to George C. and Pearl M. Gabel on October 26, 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While attending Ohio State University, World War II began and Alda went to work for the Navy Ferry Squadron in the Port of Columbus (Ohio). During this time, she also began flying lessons.

In 1946, Lewis began working with United Airlines as a flight attendant. She relocated to Portland, Oregon and worked on 21-passenger Douglas DC-3s flying to various locations within the Pacific Northwest. It was during one of these flights that she met her future husband, Alfred R. "Dick" Lewis. They wed in 1950 and relocated to Olympia, Washington where she did volunteer work with many organizations, including the Seattle Children's Hospital, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), and Clipped Wings (a group for current, former, and retired United Airlines flight attendants). Lewis passed away on January 10, 2012.


Biography derived from The Olympian, January 22, 2012 and collection materials.

Note on Arrangment

  • Career-Related
  • Photographs
  • Personnel/Training Documents
  • United Airlines Documents
  • Other Aviation-Related
  • Personal
  • Physical Location

    The following item will be on display for Destination Moon, April 2019 - September 2019.

    • Sheet music, "Wait Till You See What I Saw In Seattle," 1962


    No further accruals are expected.

    Separated Materials

    The following items have been separated from the archival component and are kept in Objects storage:
    • Three (3) bracelets
    • Two (2) commemorative buttons
    • One (1) key chain
    • One (1) serving dish
    • Three (3) pairs of earrings
    • Two (2) uniforms consisting one each of jacket, skirt, and hat
    • Two (2) nameplates
    • Four (4) napkins
    • Thirteen (13) patches
    • Four (4) lapel pins
    • One (1) military pin
    • Three (3) occupational pins
    • Six (6) pairs of sunglasses
    • One (1) identification tag
    • Three (3) t-shirts
    • One (1) pair paper slippers
    • One (1) blue ribbon
    • One (1) plane sighting device
    The following item has been separated from the archival component and is kept in the Library:
    • Coffee, Tea, or My Favorite Recipe. Clipped Wings, United Airlines Stewardess Alumnae, Inc., Lancaster Press, 1983.



    Guide to the Alda Jane Lewis Papers
    Completed - Level 4
    J. Jones, J. Parent
    2015, 2018
    Description rules
    Language of description
    Edition statement
    2nd Edition

    Revision Statements

    • 2018: Finding aid revised to reflect addition of biographical content and additional subject terms.
    • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.

    Repository Details

    Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

    9404 East Marginal Way South
    Seattle Washington 98108-4097

    The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
    Contact us with a research request