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Nisei stewardess in a turbine (From: Airborne Dreams)


This impromptu photo taken after a flight was grounded due to a snowstorm shows a Nisei stewardess (as they were called then) posing in a jet engine (ca. 1968). It’s another photo from Christine Yano’s new book on the history of Nisei stewardesses called Airborne Dreams (Duke University Press, 2011). Yano argues that “Japanese American (and later other Asian and Asian American) stewardesses [as they were called in the 1950s] gave Pan Am the ‘look’ of exotic cosmopolitanism” while at the same time gave Asian American women “tremendous exposure to a larger world far beyond their local upbringing. Working for Pan Am as a flight attendant became an education for these women in cosmopolitanism and gendered service.”

The book is available for purchase now.

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