CR SMITH AMERICAN AIRLINES MUSEUM
The CR Smith American Airlines Museum opened in 1993 is located in the heart of the Dallas Fort Worth airport. Named for the first president of the airline, C R Smith led the airline for 34 years and built the airline into the largest airline in the world. The American Airlines museum is now run by American Airlines employees. It was recently renovated to pay tribute to all the employees of the worlds’ largest airline.
You begin your visit with a short film about “Why I Fly” which relates stories of several of American’s employees, their career journey and why they wanted to work in the aviation field. The museum walks you through the history of the airline, from its beginnings as a mail carrier and the numerous mergers with other airlines throughout the years. The OneWorld Globe shows real time flight data of all American flights around the globe. It’s surprising to see how many flights are in the air at any given time.
A look through the years at the flight attendants uniforms transitions is fun to remember especially the swinging 60’s.
A large portion of the museum is dedicated to IOC or Integrated Operations Center for American. Here is where all the decisions about the airline happen. Flight delays, crew problems, weather delays, maintenance issues, it is all handled in the IOC. Visitors can participate in a series of “What would you do,” questions and see how the issues can be resolved.
There are seven kiosks of displays that tell the employee story of each major workgroup of the airline, including airline, pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, maintenance crews and others. American asked some 300 employees to tell their story of their job, so the real story of American Airline is told.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy the MD80 flight deck. Narration by a MD80 captain will explain just what is takes to fly this small, efficient aircraft. American has the youngest fleet of aircraft flying today.
“Flagship Knoxville” is a 1940 DC-3 that revolutionized commercial airline travel. The DC-3 was purchased by the retired American pilots, restored by American employees and presented to the museum.
This is much more than an aviation museum this is an AMERICAN employees’ museum who want to share the real story of American Airlines.
UNITED STATES BUREAU OF ENGRAVING
Bureau of Engraving is a bit off the beaten path in Fort Worth but is well worth the time. Here you will walk through the history of currency in the U.S. and see how money is made. The process is complicated and arduous even today with the high speed technology. Perfection is key here. Each step is carefully examined and executed so that the United States currency is of the highest quality and not able to be counterfeited. That is the whole reason that bills today carry a colorful background. As one can image, this is a highly secure facility and unfortunately no pictures are allowed within its walls. With upwards of a billion dollars on the grounds at even given time, that is to be expected. Too bad, they don’t give out any free samples.
To learn more about how money is made see:
TEXAS CIVIL WAR MUSEUM
Texas Civil War Museum located in Fort Worth, Texas is the largest Civil War Museum west of the Mississippi. In over 35 years of collecting, Ray and Judy Richey amassed over three thousand Civil War artifacts. The Daughters of the Texas Confederacy collection pays tribute to the Texas’ participation in the Civil War. Due to the size of the museum you will want to plan your time accordingly.
TOOLS OF WAR
Authentic guns, uniforms, cannons, dresses and swords tell the Civil War story from both sides of the conflict. While the collection boasts its Texas Civil War past, it also focuses on the stories of the artifacts; Jeb Stewarts’ sword, General Grant’s coat and cigar from the signing of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and an original copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
DRESSES OF THE ERA
The museum also features a display of 40 dresses from 1860-1900 which shows the progression of ladies fashion through those years. Ms. Richey has some 300 that she has collected.
As you walk through the Infantry, Calvary, Medical and Naval galleries, the Civil War story comes alive. You will see the uniforms worn on both sides of the conflict, the weaponry used, the medical devices used on the soldiers, the inside of a cannonball and pieces of artillery used during the conflict.
The museum also houses the United Daughters of the Texas Confederacy collection of artifacts from President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Texas Civil War artifacts are rare and many are housed here.
Two notable pieces for the museum are two dioramas constructed by Arizona high school students that depict the Battles of Palmetto Ranch and the Battle of the Wilderness.
CIVIL WAR FLAGS
The museum has an impressive collection of Civil War flags. The Confederacy had a difficult time settling on a design of the flag which led to many designs and confusion throughout the war. Oddly, there were no state flags before the Civil War.
The museum also features a dollhouse of Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis’ post-war home in Biloxi. While the house itself survived 17 hurricanes, the dollhouse was in shambles when it arrived in Fort Worth. The curator meticulously restored it.
This museum hosts is a fascinating look at our county’s Civil War history. Don’t miss it when in Fort Worth.
THE NATIONAL COWGIRL MUSEUM AND HALL OF FAME
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame began in 1975 and is a unique museum dedicated to the celebration of women, past and present, whose lives exemplify courage, resilience and independence that helped to shape the American West. Housed in the beautifully ornate building in Fort Worth’s Cultural district, it is ‘pure cowgirl’.
The main gallery hosts “Hitting the Mark: Cowgirls and the Wild West Shows” which pays tribute to those women who performed in the Wild West shows popular in the 1880’s through the early part of the 20th century. Footage from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show is featured as well as a large gallery paying tribute to Annie Oakley, who is perhaps the best known Cowgirl. You will hear Annie Oakley share her experiences in the West.
With some five thousand artifacts housed at the museum, the thirty-three square foot museum’s mission is the preservation of the Cowgirl’s importance to the history of women in the West.
The “It’s Never Just a Horse” exhibit pays homage to the link between the horse, the woman and the West, as a partner, muse, friend and more.
The Hall of Fame which consists of 238 members is scheduled to reopen on March 9, 2019, upon completion of its renovation. Come in and get your Cowgirl on!