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Southwest Airlines Community

Inside the Southwest Archive


Our Southwest story began more than 50 years ago in San Antonio when southwest Co-Founders Herb Kelleher and Rollin King first sat down to discuss the “crazy” idea of starting an airline. Since then, our Company not only survived, but became the envy of just about every other airline out there. It’s a story worth keeping track of, and that’s exactly what we do within our Corporate Archive at Southwest's Headquarters in Dallas.


Just about anyone who’s ever visited our Headquarters Campus probably remembers the countless images and other items we proudly display throughout the building. It’s a tradition that began shortly after we moved into our new home in 1990 and has carried on as the campus expanded. So, while collecting items important to our history is nothing new, cataloging and preserving these treasures is a relatively new endeavor that we’ve undertaken.


After the former Operations Control Center (OCC) moved into their new home and became the  Network Operations Control (NOC) in 2014, we had the opportunity to repurpose a portion of its former space as an archive room. Within the 1,800 sq. foot facility, we house many of the priceless items that define our history, including uniforms, photographs, documents, and many of those other countless items that best define our unique Culture. The archive room has its own fire suppression and air conditioning system to protect these assets from things such as heat and light.


Take a look inside our Corporate Archive:




DMX CASS Project Consultant Jim Dumont donated an original Terminal Operations manual from his personal collection.  This was the predecessor to today’s Ground Ops manual, and is a great reference to how our original Station Employees handled all aspects of our business at the airport.




Some of our most popular archive items are our original "Hostess" uniforms.  As original Employee Deborah Stembridge shared with us, Hostesses were required to wear the wrap skirt over their hot pants when off of the aircraft.




In the early ‘90s, Scanset terminals were installed in travel agencies by Southwest Employees to provide dial up access to our ticketing system.




LAS Captain Brian Dawson shared an original copy of the February 1974 Esquire magazine featuring Hostess (now Flight Attendant) Sandra Force on the cover.  The iconic cover story provided national exposure to what was then our small intra-Texas carrier only flying the famous triangle at the time.




One of the newest additions to the archive is a Southwest-branded fedora that helped our Employees and Customers celebrate the first Cuba service in December 2016.