Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ethiopian Airlines Network, c.1960

Appearing almost like the fuzzy felt of a drinks coaster, this map of Ethiopian Airlines mid-century network is a warm and wonderful scene, showing the African continent between a green and red band, like the imperial flag of Ethiopia itself, with the lion of Judah in the southern Atlantic at the lower left of the graphic.

A main North-South route runs between Nairobi and Cairo. A lateral route links Monrovia via Accra and Lagos. Presumably, the two lines angling down the cone of Southern Africa terminate at Johannesburg, but this is not specified, and neither is the significance of the thin lines versus the thick red bolts, which quite curiously cross not at Addis Ababa but at Khartoum. The Monrovia-Conakry-Dakar portion is also a striped hash line, perhaps suggesting that this trunk was not underway but was a future intention. Timbuktu is shown but seemingly not part of the network.

Above the Mediterranean, a rather random assortment of gateways are served: Lisbon, Athens, Frankfurt and Beirut. Aden is linked to Asmara, with promises of more of Asia off to the right of the map. A tiny arrow of the coast of Cap Vert suggests trans-Atlantic connections to the Americas.

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