Gordon Pirie
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Imperial journeys
in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
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An informative account of an Imperial flight by an inexperienced air traveller appeared in the Field in the summer of 1935. An Imperial ticket bought some comfort and security, but not lightning speed. The Imperial Airways Chairman, Sir Eric Geddes, was adamant that speed was a secondary consideration for many Empire travellers. Air services were beginning to choreograph imperialism, especially in places not yet touched by mechanised land transport. In 1932, a disillusioned South African reckoned that Imperial was unlikely to have its passenger contract renewed in Central and Southern Africa. Whimsy percolated an article published in 1939 in the Journal of the Royal African Society about 'the romance' of the air mail to Africa. Like the African airway, the new air route to India was an irresistible subject for writers.

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