This 1960s Pan film "Across the World in 3 Seconds" shows communication in the modern world, and includes a behind-the-scenes look at Pan Am's complex, computer-based reservation and logistical systems. It presents a fast - moving history of communications from cave drawings to the jet age of electronic computers.
The film opens with ancient cave paintings and the idea that man’s deepest desire has always been to communicate with others (:51). It leads through the development of communication and we see the Egyptian Sphinx and ciphers developed (1:14). As transportation developed, person to person communication advanced and a painting of a 24-Hour Pony Express rider with a US Mail bag hitched to his saddle is depicted (2:31). Another painting of telephone lines being raised is shown (2:43) and the telegraph had been developed. Afterwards, land transportation progressed further and begins the invention of flight (3:04). In May of 1927, Charles Lindbergh climbs into the Spirit of St. Louis and he makes history flying from New York to Paris in 33 hours (3:21). The Pan Am building in New York (4:49) is shown and is the home of PANAMAC; the extensive IBM communications and reservations network. Magnetic disks which are spinning faster that can be seen with the naked eye spin on screen (5:04) and these are what store the information. A Pan Am worker utilizes a data processing system (5:36). An extensive example of a reservation clerk feeds plans into the system for a flight from Paris to New York (6:16). This example enables viewers to learn the magnetic storage had the ability to retain the multiplicity of fliers needs and plans electronically (9:46), and this was a move from paper and file storage. Quickly, Calcutta’s streets at the time are shown (10:06) with an instance of a flyer wishing to change his itinerary. PANAMAC’s air to cargo (11:05) is shown as well as the transfer of goods by clipper cargo (11:12) as well. The film draws to conclusion with images of Pan American and IBM workers who made the innovative progress possible (11:37). The film was produced by Sidney J Stiber Productions Inc.(11:59).
The PANAMAC, Pan American's first worldwide airline reservation management system, was installed in 1964, and used the IBM 7080 Data Processing System. PANAMAC linked hundreds of agent sets throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean with the Pan American computing center in New York City. The IBM 1006 Terminal Interchange was part of the networked system shown in this graphic from the PANAMAC manual. Using teleprocessors networked to the computing center, agents could access Pan Am flight information and book reservations almost instantly. While this is now commonplace, at the time it was an innovative and successful system.
PANAMAC was based on computer networks developed for the United States military where “real-time” information was necessary to calculate projected trajectories for missiles. The IBM-designed network was only the second real-time network to be installed for high-speed computing and communication in the airline industry. The first networked system developed for real-time airline reservations was American Airline's SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business-Related Environment), developed by IBM and implemented in 1961 on an IBM 7090 system. Delta's Deltamatic flight reservation system, installed in 1964, was also designed by IBM and used an IBM 7074 system. Prior to these systems, reservation information was available but quickly outdated. A few early computer systems, such as American Airlines' Reservisor, designed by Teleregister Corp., provided quick access to flight information but were not set up to receive information. Reservations still had to be taken by hand and calls placed to airlines to confirm availability.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com