Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Eastern Air Lines was originally formed as Pitcairn Aviation, Inc. in 1927. In July 1929 it was acquired by North American Aviation as the Eastern Air Lines Division and, in January 1930, was renamed Eastern Air Transport. By February 1933, Eastern had acquired Ludington Airlines, giving Eastern routes to most major eastern cities, including New York, Atlanta, Miami, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. In 1934 the airline was renamed Eastern Air Lines and introduced Douglas DC-2s on its longer routes. In 1937 Eastern began DC-3 service and acquired Wedell-Williams Air Service Corp, thereby extending its routes westward to Houston. North American sold its holdings in Eastern to a group headed by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. By 1960 Eastern had extended its coverage to Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, as well as westward to Detroit and St. Louis. In January 1960 Eastern introduced jet service with DC-8s and, in April 1961, inaugurated "Air Shuttle" service between Boston, New York, and Washington, DC with its propeller-driven aircraft. By 1975 Eastern's network covered 100 cities in 30 states, as well as Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean. In 1986 Eastern was bought by Texas Air, making Texas Air the largest airline in the United States. Following labor problems, including a strike by Eastern's machinists which was supported by the pilots and flight attendants, Eastern declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1989. David L. Foster, Jr., (d. 2010) had a four year apprenticeship with Eastern Air Lines before becoming a 37 year employee and a manager in the Aircraft Service Center. After his retirement from Eastern, Foster worked for 9 years with the Dee Howard Company.



Processing Information

Arranged, described, and encoded by Patti Williams, 2020.


Foster, David L., Jr.


1960s - 1990s


Lois T Foster, Gift, 2019, NASM.2020.0009


3.6 Cubic feet (2 flat boxes, 7 document cases, 1 slim document case, and 4 large map folders.)


This collection consists of material mostly relating to David Foster's career with Eastern Air Lines and the maintenance of their aircraft, 1960s to 1980s.


No restrictions on access


Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Technical manuals

Photograph albums


Arrangement note

Arranged by type of material.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 3.6 cubic feet of material mostly relating to David Foster's career with Eastern Air Lines and the maintenance of their aircraft, 1960s to 1980s. The following types of material are included: photo albums, aircraft drawings, newsletters, photographs, newspaper articles, posters, and technical manuals.


Technical manuals -- 20th century

Photograph albums

Newsletters -- 20th century


Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.

Topics Aeronautics


Eastern Airlines Collection [Foster], NASM.2020.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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