Pan Am Amenity Kits
Through the years many airlines dabbled with giving customer's amenity kits on long haul flights and Pan Am was no exception. The oldest customer amenity kits in the collection are from the 1950s. Seen below are two different versions.
"The President State Room" was the forward compartment of the Boeing Stratocruiser. This deluxe compartment with 8 seats could be purchased by individuals, families or small groups to ensure maximum privacy & comfort. The State Room was especially popular with celebrities.
"The President Special" was the name of Pan Am's deluxe first class service offered from the New York to London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro & Buenos Aires. Pan Am's regular first class service was simply called "The President."
Two kits from the early 1980s are shown below. On the left is a soft fabric zipper pouch kit given in first class. On the right is a thick plastic bag held closed by a snap button that was offered in business class. Naturally the First Class kits were more abundant with razors, sewing kits, and perfume / cologne samples while the Clipper Class kits were more basic with slipper socks, toothbrush and comb. Generally, only first class customers were given eye shades.
As the competition heated up in the mid to late 1980s for First and Business Class customers all the airlines improved their amenity kits. Below on the left is an expanded First Class amenity kit with additional pouches and cosmetic products. The kit was designed to be large enough that both male and female passengers could use it as a toiletry kit after their flight. On the right is Pan Amís improved Clipper Class kit made of a light gray canvas like material and offering some of the amenity items previously only given in first class. I can vouch for the fact that this kit is sturdy, as I have used it as my own traveling toiletry kit since 1991.
In the 1960s Pan Am offered First Class customers English made perfume (for ladies) / cologne & aftershave (for gentlemen). The bottles came in small plastic holders (3 Ĺ in. by 2 Ĺ in) light green for the ladies and hunter green for men (click on items to enlarge).
In the 1960s if a customer became separated from their luggage due to a missed connection Pan Am provided "Remain Over Night" (RON) kits. The Collection acquired the kit on the left without contents but most likely it contained toothbrush, tooth paste, soap, shampoo, comb, razor, shaving cream and other items needed for an overnight stay without luggage. (click on item to enlarge)
With the introduction of the 747 in 1970 Pan Am was carrying twice as many First Class customers and the distribution of individual perfume & cologne was discontinued. The products were still available in the first class lavatories. Shown to the right is the lavatory kit, (click on item to enlarge).
Also with the introduction of the 747 Pan Am began to offer eye shades to first class customers. The eyeshades came in a variety of plaid colors (six examples can be seen below on the left). The blue eye shades on the right were from the 1971-73 period where the company modified the logo lettering for a "mod" look, (click on items to enlage).
In the mid 1970s Pan Am once again offered cologne & perfume kits to First Class customers. Below on the left the blue plastic kit by Caron of Paris includes men's cologne, ladies perfume and a small bar of soap. Below on the right the beige plastic kit from Givenchy of Paris contains men's cologne, after shave lotion and a small bar of soap. The kits measure approximately 5 x 3 inches. Click on items to enlarge.
The Hermes kit below on the left is similar in size to the kits above but has a cloth exterior and plastic interior. It was acquired by the collection with only the small soap box and as above likely contained cologne & perfume samples. Below on the right are two examples of Pan Am First Class amenity kits from the late 1970s. They also are made of cloth with plastic interior linings and were also acquired without contents. They too would have contained cologne, soap & perfume samples like the kits above. Click on images to enlarge.
On the left are First Class cloth slipper socks in both royal blue and red from the mid 1970s. On the right are eye shades from the early 1980s. On some medium length flights, (3-5 hours), Pan Am just offered slipper socks & eye shades in lieu of amenity kits. Included with these eye shades were stickers that allowed customers to indicate whether or not they wished to be awakened for meal service. Click on images to enlarge.
Below on the left is a First Class amenity kit from the early 1980s. It contains soap, cologne & skin cream from designer John Weitz. It was presented in a brown faux suede zipper pouch measuring approximately 7 x 5 inches. On the right a Japanese amenity kit in a glossy paper box offered on flight from Tokyo with Kanebo products, (left to right) after shave, skin cream and eau de toilette. Click on items to enlarge.
In the 1980-82 time period Pan Am began to offer customers more personal hygiene items in the First Class amenity kits. Toothbrushes, combs, mouth washes, razors, shaving creams, emery boards & sewing kits became standard fare. Below are two examples of these amenity kits. The kit on the left even offered grooming mirrors (regular/ square & magnifying / round). It is not known if either kit was complete when acquired for the collection.
In the 1990-91 time period Pan Am began placing large bottles of hand lotions & eau de toilette in the First & Business Class lavatories. Below on the left are examples. The white bottle called Eau de vive is a moisturizer by Carven of Paris. The gray bottles offered either hand lotion or eau de toilette and were titled "Clipper" with a white clipper ship and blue background. On the back is stated that the product was designed for Pan Am by Travelite International of North Hollywood, California.
Below on the right are two different styles of Pan Am Shuttle amenity kits given out for a short time in the late 1980s. The kits were of a "gift bag" format and came in small boxes (8 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches). Unlike the amenity kits offered on Pan Am's long haul flights the Pan Am Shuttle Amenity Kits contained project samples and coupons not intended for use in-flight.
The Virtual Pan Am Museum