Robinson Airlines Corporation
Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the Robinson Airlines Corporation dating back to the 1940's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary-Treasurer, was printed by the Security-Columbian Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11 1/4" (w) by 7 1/2" (h).
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
The Robinson Airlines Corporation was incorporated in New York in 1945 by aerial photographer C. S. Robinson as a unit of Robinson Aviation, completing its first passenger flight on April 6th. The operation was based out of Ithaca Municipal Airport near Ithaca, New York, flying single-engine, three-passenger Fairchild F-24s. After the end of World War II, the Fairchilds were supplemented with two Cessna T-50s, and in 1946, the entire fleet was replaced with Beechcraft Model 18s.
To keep the airline flying, Robinson secured investments from a variety of local sources, notably Ithaca Enterprises, a nonprofit organization responsible for bringing new businesses to Ithaca, and the Cooperative Grange League Federation Exchange (now part of Agway), a farmers cooperative that had been organized by members of The Grange, and Cornell University. Most significant was the involvement of Edwin Albert Link, creator of the Link Trainer. Link lent the airline $75,000 to purchase three used Douglas DC-3s— but also removed control of the company from Robinson, making pilot Robert Peach its general manager. In 1948, the Civil Aeronautics Board certified the airline as a local service carrier, awarding a variety of routes in the Mohawk Valley region. The airline adopted the slogan Route of the Air Chiefs, and painted a blue and red logo of an Indian chief on its tails.
In 1952, Robert Peach purchased a controlling share of the airline, and Robinson removed himself from day-to-day operations. The board adopted the name Mohawk Airlines; in 1953 it carried 2 million passengers between 15 airports and had revenue of $24.3 million. The following summer it experimented briefly with helicopter service, connecting Newark, New Jersey, and Grossinger's Resort in the Catskill Mountains with a Sikorsky S-55. The July 1954 OAG shows 13 flights a week each way between Newark and Liberty Airport 41.80°N 74.70°W; fare $18 one way plus tax. More successfully, the airline introduced Convair 240s on July 1, 1955, becoming the first local service carrier with pressurized aircraft. In 1956, having outgrown its facilities in Ithaca, it moved its corporate offices to Utica.
When hired by Mohawk Airlines in December 1957, Ruth Carol Taylor became the first African-American flight attendant in the United States. Six months after breaking one historic barrier, Ruth Taylor's career ended due to another barrier: the airline's marriage ban, a common practice among airlines of the day. Airlines often dismissed flight attendants who married or became pregnant.
In 1961, Mohawk was the first airline to use a centralized computer-based reservation service, and in 1965, the first regional airline to use flight simulators. Mohawk upgraded its fleet with the BAC One-Eleven in 1965, becoming the first regional airline to fly jets.
Mohawk's golden age was the late 1950s and early 1960s; it acquired the Convair 440 in 1958, and Martin 4-0-4s in 1960. The last DC-3 flights were in 1962; Mohawk ended Convair piston flights in 1969 and mainly flew the BAC One-Eleven and the Fairchild Hiller FH-227. Like other local service airlines, Mohawk was subsidized; in 1962 operating "revenues" totaled $23.3 million including $4.6 million "federal subsidy".
In May 1968, Mohawk served 38 airports, from Boston and Washington, DC to Detroit. Between 1968 and 1971, labor and economic issues bled Mohawk financially. Unable to pay creditors at the end of that period, Mohawk began merger discussions with Allegheny Airlines, and merged into Allegheny on April 12, 1972. Allegheny changed its name to USAir in 1979, and later to US Airways. Following bankruptcies and a later merger with America West Airlines in 2005, US Airways purchased American Airlines in 2015 and assumed operations under the American Airlines name and logo.