Aeronautics: Vanishing Independents

In September 1930 the brothers Charles Townsend & Nicholas Saltus Ludington, Philadelphia socialites, started Ludington Air Lines, a plane-per-hour service between New York, Philadelphia & Washington—"most travelled stretch of territory in the world."* The Ludingtons put $1,000,000 into the company, kept most of the stock, sold none publicly. They declared themselves prepared to operate at a loss for five years. Last week they sold out to Eastern Air Transport, reputedly for $250,000.

From the outset Ludington Line was watched with keen interest by the entire industry, since operations without mail contracts were...

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