Origin of the Seaboard Air Line name?

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Origin of the Seaboard Air Line name?

Postby blw » Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:54 am

My wife asked me yesterday how the Seaboard Air Line came by its name, and I realized that I had absolutely no idea. A few quick Google searches turned up nothing about the origin, which obviously predates the notion of a airplane-based transportation system.

Could anyone point me to the origin?
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Postby Hoosier Joe » Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:11 am

Around 1900 "Air Line" meant the shortest distance between two points. Similar to phrase "as the crow flies" .
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Postby chuchubob » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:17 am

The Seaboard used the expression "Seaboard Air Line" in advertising and later made it their name.
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Postby Aa3rt » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:02 am

To expand further on what both Joe & Bob have submitted, some other railroads, in addition to the SAL, have used the term "Air Line" in their name. As already noted by Hoosier Joe, the term indicated that the line ran directly between two points. Read:


The Seaboard Air Line Railway was created in the 1880's, which predated the Wright Brothers first flight by approximately 20 years. One of the SAL's subsidiary railroads was the "Atlanta & Birmingham Air Line Railway". For a little more on the history of the SAL, check out this link:

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Postby SPUI » Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:18 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Line_Railroad has some information and a list.

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