From the LA Times:

It was the kind of plane that seemed to fit the swinging go-go days with martini-swigging travelers lingering around a bar.

First-class passengers dressed in their Sunday best made their way up a spiral staircase to get to the “flying penthouse,” harking memories of private rail cars.

It seemed the epitome of plushness when it made its first commercial flight 40 years ago today. A Times reporter described the cabin as a “luxurious auditorium some genie had wafted aloft.”

Boeing Co.’s 747 was not only the biggest plane that anyone had ever seen before — it was nearly three times larger than the largest jet flying at the time — it transformed travel in a way that few have.

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Pictures like these just seem like staged press photos nowadays, but during the golden age of commercial flying people really did get dressed up.

And here’s another photo of the 747 being rolled out a hangar in Everett, WA.