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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Elaine P. Austin Northwest Orient Airlines Flight Attendant Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2013-05-07
The Elaine P. Austin Northwest Orient Airlines (NWA) Flight Attendant Collection is relatively small and comprised of primarily textual materials with some photographs. The bulk of the material was collected by Austin during her flight attendant career with Northwest Orient Airlines from 1960-1965.

Textual materials include a large amount of stewardess training materials, including instructions for various safety procedures, aircraft layouts, and assorted work sheets from stewardess courses. There is also a small undated booklet, The Story of Distilled Beverages prepared for Cabin Attendants of Northwest Orient Airlines.. Additional materials include a NWA decal, a business card for Austin, two oversize blank postcards, and two small NWA posters.

Additionally 6 scrapbook pages are present, which are a mix of printed ephemera, primarily in the form of clippings, cartoons, and leaflets, and a small amount of photographs. Most material is affixed to the pages with glue or photo corners though some items are coming loose. Some of the material has very brief handwritten captions under the item, such as names, dates, or locations. Topics center on NWA and being a stewardess. The photographs feature Austin, as well as other people, and are a mix of candid and posed.

Additionally there are 4 loose photographs; three in color and one in black-and-white. The three color images are 3.5x3.5". One image features Austin in her stewardess uniform. The other two are aerial shots, with handwritten captions on the reverse: "Rockies between Great Falls & Billings, 1962" and "Mt. Rainer, 1922." The black-and-white photograph is a 8x10" group portrait, likely of a graduation of a group of flight attendants. It is stamped on the reverse: "Please credit Northwest Orient Airlines - Photo - Robert R. Blanch Photography." Handwritten in pencil is the number 24544, which may be the print number. Note that this photograph might have come loose from one of the scrapbook pages, as there is an empty space that corresponds with this size image.


  • 1922-1961
  • Majority of material found within 1959-1961


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research but has not been fully processed. Access to the collection may be limited or may require additional processing time. 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.


0.05 Cubic Feet (1 legal size folder and 1 oversize folder)

Biographical Note: Elaine Austin

Elaine "Ellie" Patricia (née Keryluk) Austin was born in Detroit, Michigan, circa 1938-1940. She served as a flight attendant for Northwest Orient Airlines from 1960-1965. After she left the airline industry, Austin became a schoolteacher.

She married Jack Allen Austin (1943-2017) on December 29, 1965. The couple had two children, Patricia Jyl “PJ” (Baker), and John Charles Austin. As of 2013, she was residing in Washington state.

Biography derived from collection materials, donor information and online sources, including

Immediate Source of Acquistion

The collection was donated by Elaine P. Austin in 2013.


No further accruals are expected.

Separated Materials

The following materials have been removed from the archival component and are kept in Objects storage:

  • Two hats, Northwest Orient Airlines
  • Teddy bear, Northwest Orient Airlines
  • Empty toiletry kit case, Northwest Orient Airlines
  • Two glasses (wine and champagne)
  • Lighter, Northwest Orient Airlines
  • Case, Northwest Orient Airlines
  • Three pins [1 for Northwest Orient Airlines]
  • Button for Lindbergh - with ribbon


Guide to the Elaine P. Austin Northwest Orient Airlines Flight Attendant Collection
Completed - Level 2
J. Parent
2019, 2020
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd edition

Revision Statements

  • May 2020: Expanded bio note, added provenance and accruals note.

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
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