Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:14 am


I think this is the appropriate forum to post, but let me know if it's not.

One of my classes this past semester was Introduction to American Urban History, and our grade relied soley on a term paper. For the paper, I chose to research how Newark Airport--20 minutes from where I grew up--has changed, from when it was first planned in the 1920s through the most recent construction.

In doing so, I learned such interesting things as EWR being the busiest airport in the world for nearly a decade, as well as the airport to begin testing ILS systems.

I hope you enjoy the paper, and let me know what you think. If there are any corrections, I'd be especially grateful--I'm looking into publishing it in a NJ History journal, or somewhere else appropriate.

Newark International Airport: From Marsh to International Gateway


PS- I got an A  Smile
Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:37 am

Nice work Jeremy.

I grew up in Metuchen and my father worked in Newark, at Weston on Frelinghuysen Avenue. We'd get off at the Haynes Avenue exit off Route 1 on the rare occasions mother needed the car during the day. So I was around the airport regularly. What you show as the Old Tower I remember as the New Tower! Father went up and down Route 1 from Metuchen to Newark five days a week for 28 years. At the corner of Amboy Avenue and Route 1, it was not always an overpass but a traffic light that was called Hell's Corner.

Around 1970 I had a job working for a taxi company in Metuchen and I occasionally had fares to EWR. Nobody around those parts said Newark Airport. They hopped in and said "Airport!" and that was it. I used to budget 40-45 minutes going up Route 1 because of all the traffic lights. One time I made my trophy run, got all the lights green and got there in 15 minutes. The fare was astounded. It may never have happened to anyone else around. It was the only time it ever happened to me, I shoulda bought a lotto ticket that day.

Also, in 1967 I was lucky enough to get a flight on a TWA Connie in revenue service-the ten dollar Boston shuttle Boeing 720 was broken, so they wheeled the old girl over, it was on standby, may have been one of the last ever Connie flights in revenue service.

A couple of corrections of a minor nature. Hadley Field was in South Plainfield, and it was still open when I was a little kid-I'd ride my bike up there to watch the taildraggers. There is now a shopping center on the site, and the only thing remaining of the airport is the name "Hadley Road". There is a pretty good airfield in Linden, and one in Teterboro, and back after the war there were a lot of what they called "non-skeds" or non scheduled airlines. They were usually run by GIs, the planes came from Davis Monthan, C47s and such, often times bought out of government surplus with full fuel tanks. They'd go down to Puerto Rico and bring back immigrants, some of whom actually believed that the streets in New York a/k/a Nuevo Jorque were paved with gold. There were a number of them that augered into apartment buildings in places like Elizabeth.

Another thing is that I probably would not cite to anything in wikipedia-I teach college classes and I actively discourage my students from using it as a citation. It's a great place to start one's research but as President Reagan said, "Trust but verify."
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

RE: A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:55 am

Thanks for sharing that story, Doug! I have a few good memories of EWR...

-Riding the monorail for 3 hours straight, before it was extended beyond the airport--back when you could see planes the whole time. People still tell me I'm crazy  Smile

-I decided to go spotting at the Ikea parking lot when I was 14... November of 2001. I learned a lesson that day...  Yeah sure

-When I went to visit Washington University in St. Louis, we were 30 minutes into the taxi when the Captain said, "Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. It looks like there are still about, uh, 20 to 25 planes ahead of us... so feel free to unbuckle your seat belts, pull out those portable electronic devices, and we'll let you know when it looks like we have a shot at taking off." That epitomized EWR delays, but to be fair, the weather had been beyond miserable all day.

Since my parents moved to Baltimore after I left for school, I haven't been to EWR in over a year. I'm so excited that I'm going to get to fly through there in August... oh, how I miss Terminal C  Smile

Regarding the Wikipedia comment: I do agree with you, and normally I wouldn't cite "hard to find" facts. The reason I used Wikipedia was either because I knew the information as true, but simply needed a place to cite (such as when the airport changed names or what an ILS system does), or to combine facts I'd seen in a few places, so as to avoid citing multiple sources for a relatively small amount of overall information. What I did find doing this research, though, is that information on the airport is very, very limited. My grandfather, who is into NJ history, scoped out some university and the Newark libraries, and found very little. Unfortunately, since the books that could have (no guarantee on that) been helpful couldn't be checked out, I wasn't able to use them.

Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
Posts: 4195
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:34 am

Nice paper, Jeremy.

On page 17, a "wide body TWA 707" is mentioned. I'm sure you're aware that the 707 is NOT a wide body!  Smile
How come I can't upload an avatar photo to my profile?
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

RE: A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:11 am

Quoting N62NA (Reply 3):
On page 17, a "wide body TWA 707" is mentioned. I'm sure you're aware that the 707 is NOT a wide body!

That's a good catch... I was thinking how today widebody is synonymous with big plane... for the time, the 707 was a big plane. Oops  ashamed 
Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
Posts: 12919
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:39 pm

While it probably doesn't exist today, in Terminal B(?) by the gate for a LH flight to FRA, they had displays on the the history of EWR.
As my screen name suggests, EWR is my favorite NYC area airport, especially as it is only 12 miles south and on a major flight path for it from where I live. It's just too bad they couldn't have built the NY Turnpike a few 100 yards to the East, so there could have been more room for more and wider runways, which would help when the weather turns.
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: A History Of Newark International Airport 1927-Now

Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:18 am

I grew up in Kearny, N. J., a few miles north of EWR in the 1940s, and often rode my bike through Kearny, Harrison and down to EWR, (Much to my mothers consternation) to watch DC-3s, DC-4s, C-46s, DC-6s and Connies pull up to the gates, swing their wing over my head, shut down and deplane their passengers who would pick up their own luggage on the tarmac as it was placed there by the fist officer.

The first air show I ever saw was at EWR in 1947. It featured a USAF jet fighter flying by, astounding my grandfather.

EWR had the very first control tower, visible in the photo of the terminal dedication, in the world. Controllers used both radio and light guns to direct traffic in the beginning.

In the early 60s', I would bring my students there for "Big Airport" experience early on Sunday mornings, with the controllers giving them GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) headings while the student was under the hood. Can't do that anymore!

Three crashes in a few months involving a DC-3, a C-46 and a DC-6, all of which went down in Elizabeth, just south of EWR, led to the take over by the Port of New York Authority, who realigned the runways and closed the old ones.

At the 50th anniversary, (1979) I flew a Cherokee into EWR, the one and only time I ever actually landed a plane there, even though I did many, many ILs approaches in the early 60s.

The 1935 terminal, with its Art Deco architecture, has been moved and now houses a variety of PONYA offices, but the first floor is open to the public, looking much like it did in the 40s', without the airline counters, of course.

This terminal, now designated as building 1, is worth a visit. There is ample free parking available right outside the building.
if ya gotta crash, hit something soft and cheap!

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos