How did Seaboard Air Line get its name?greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread
I was asked today where the AIR LINE in the SAL name came from. I surely don't know. I hope that someone who does will respond.
-- Jim Roquemore (email@example.com), November 16, 1998
I had always thought "Air Line" railroads were those equipped with air brakes. I don't know how well this explaination fits in time-line wise with the implementation of Westinghouse air brakes on major railroads and subsequently the naming of "Air Line" railroads, but had never heard or considered any other explaination.
-- Bill Buck (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 15, 2002.
Or, better yet, how about a 747 in the Seaboard "1954 mint" passenger scheme?
-- David L.(Bud)Leggett (email@example.com), June 09, 2001.
A little tongue-in-cheek humor here fellas, but would'nt a Douglas DC3 look great in the Citrus scheme?
-- Russell Underwood (Jay611@home.com), November 29, 1999.
Term Air Line was used to suggest a particular route was the most direct route. The Georgia Air Line and the Air Line of South Carolina predate the Civil War. Piedmont Air Line was in existence during War.
-- Conrad Cheatham (ccheatham@uReach.com), November 24, 1999.
I was very interested in these responses, because I have been asking a similar question. In 1883, the Fargo and Southern Air Line started construction south, supposedly to St. Louis. It was really a decetion, so that James Hill, te founder of the Great Northern would not realize that the Millwaukee was trying to compete with the the trade between the Red River Valley and St.Paul. When tis line reached the Milwaukee main line at Ortonville, Minnesota it was evealed that all along that thi was a Millwaukee project. The "Empire Builder" was furious at having been tricked. I thank you all for having enlightened me on the derivation of "Air Line".
-- Donald Moorhead (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 1999.
Railroads began to use the slogan/name words "Air Line" (always two words!) to imply that their passenger trains were as comfortable as riding on air. That's it, folks. Unless somebody finds an earlier usage, I'd say the first was the Richmond & Danville RR (later in the Southern) that began to advertise itself as the "Piedmont Air Line" just a few years after the Civil War. (That's 1861-1865 for you kids.)
-- Whit Joyner (email@example.com), December 14, 1998.
Adding to the 19th Century term of describing the most direct route between two points, it was often illustrated as a straight line drawn throught the air as if by an arrow.
-- Andrew Callo (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 17, 1998.
The Society's Orange Blossom Special book documents the "air line" origins as discussed above, and also the fact that SAL wanted to start up its own real airline, Seaboard Airways, in 1940. The Civil Aeronautics Board rejected SAL's application to operate it, however, so the airline "never got off the ground." (... sorry)
-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), November 17, 1998.
Air Line was a popular term in the 19th Century. It implied the most direct line between two points. Lots of railroads had Air Line in their names, e.g. a predecessor of the Southern Railway was the Atlanta & Charlotte Air Line Rwy.
I don't know if this is true, but I have always heard that Seaboard was the only railroad stock to go up the day that Lindbergh completed his solo flight across the Atlantic.
-- C. Jackson Wyatt III (email@example.com), November 16, 1998.
According to Robert Wayne Johnson in his book Through the Heart of the South, the name comes from the Raleigh & Augusta Air Line, it stretched southward from Raleigh to Hamlet and was intended to extend to Augusta, Ga but the economic problems of the 1870's stopped this plan. This railroad merged with the Seaboard & Roanoke in 1883 to form the Seaboard Air Line System which lasted until 1900 when the rest of the line to Tampa and Birmingham was added through merger to form the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. So the term comes from the Raleigh and Augusta Air Line. Why Air Line I do not know. It was the 1860's and probably had to do with a smoothe ride.
-- David Lovette (David77505@msn.com), November 16, 1998.
I have always understood it to mean the straight route between Hamlet and Wilmington.The longest stretch in the US.
-- Joseph Oates (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 16, 1998.