Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Scandinavian Stewardesses Takes Us Into the Jet Age

Written by Christopher • February 22nd, 2012
Scandinavian Stewardesses Takes Us Into the Jet Age

Birgitta Lindman Life Magazine

Scandinavian Airlines (or simply SAS), was founded in 1946, when three Scandinavian transatlantic airlines merged. In the late 1950s, SAS was the first airline to offer round the world service over the North Pole via the North Pole shortcut Copenhagen – Anchorage – Tokyo.

This “polar express” became popular with Hollywood celebrities and production people travelling to Europe. SAS entered the jet age in 1959 when its first jet aircraft, the Caravelle, entered service. They did not opt for the Boeing 707 like so many other airlines.

In 1958, the 23-year-old Swedish SAS stewardess, Birgitta Lindman (seen above), landed the cover of LIFE magazine’s special jet issue about airlines. She beat hostesses from 53 other airlines. In ABC’s television show Pan Am, the voluptuous Laura gets to be on the LIFE magazine cover.

In 1971, SAS put its first Boeing 747 jumbo jet into service, a massive airplane that proved to be way too oversized for the small Scandinavian market of travelers during that period.

Thanks Mike Klarmeyer

Above: Three sisters

Above: Summer uniform designed Carven — Summer uniform designed Carven from 1967.

Above: Uniform Carven 1965-1971 — SAS, Uniforms, Air hostess uniform designed by Carven, 1965-1971.

Above: Uniform Dior 1971-1983 — SAS Uniforms. Air hostess uniform designed by Christian Dior 1971-1983.

Above: Winter uniform deigned Dior — SAS, Uniforms, Air hostess uniform designed by Christian Dior, 1971-1983.

Above: Boarding in style

Above: Flight Attendant Uniform

Above: DC-8 Ground Hostesses


A Swedish expatriate and founder of Ultra Swank. Chris loves showcasing his passion for mid-century design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and modernist architecture. He's also renowned as a connoisseur of easy-listening music from the 60s and 70s.

Find out more about Christopher

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