Imagine a world where it took five-hours by train, or a slow steamboat trip, to get from Tampa to St. Petersburg. Before 1914, that was reality.
Insert Tony Jannus. A famous pilot from the pre-WW1 era, known for his adventurous and innovative legacy. In 1912 he set a new record for an overwater flight between the two cities. This caught the attention of businessmen Percival Fansler, who had the idea of investing in Jannus’ “flying boats” to create a commercial route.
With the towns approval, on Jan. 1, 1914 Jannus piloted the first commercial airline flight for a crowd of 3,000.
– Margot Calmar, The 100 Companies