The mission of the TWA Museum is to provide information to the public emphasizing the story, history and importance of the major role TWA played in pioneering commercial aviation. From the birth of airmail to the inception of passenger air travel, to the post-WWII era of global route expansion, TWA led the way for 75 years.
The TWA Museum’s goal is to ensure a permanent, expanding and professionally exhibited collection of artifacts that bring the story of TWA to life here in Kansas City, where it all began. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of Trans World Airlines’ leadership in the world of commercial aviation.
Instrument Shop mechanic Tom Perry collected TWA items for many years and displayed them throughout the Trans World Airlines MCI Overhaul Base in Kansas City.
TWA eventually donated a large space for Tom’s collection near the employee cafeteria in the MCI Overhaul Base. The employees built a special case that exhibited his many items. The opening of the TWA Museum highlighted the pride that was – and still is – typical of virtually all former TWA employees and customers.
Over the years, with the closing of TWA’s Kansas City Administration Center, the St. Louis Training Center and the Overhaul Base all museum items and displays came together at the Kansas City Expo Center.
TWA was a major sponsor for the 1996 celebration of the Smithsonian’s 150th Anniversary, and the TWA Museum’s collection traveled to twelve cities over a period of two years as part of “America’s Smithsonian” Exhibit.
The TWA Museum became a Chapter of the Platte County Historical Society in 1985 and was under the direction of Marie Trainer. In 2010 Pam Blaschum took over the direction of the TWA Museum and with Pat Brinkman worked diligently to secure a space for the TWA Museum in the original building that was built in 1931 to accommodate the newly formed TWA corporate headquarters.