You are here:Home/Research/ Library and Archives/ Institutional Archives/ Collections/ Ephemera Collection/ We Thought We Knew it All. Then We Discovered Machu Picchu.

Archive Navigation

title

We Thought We Knew it All. Then We Discovered Machu Picchu.

 
Accession number AR.EP.MG.0641
Creator
Places
Machupicchu (Cuzco [Peru])
Cuzco (Peru)
Peru
Date
1965
Measurements
8.5 x 11.5 inches
Materials/Techniques
colorized photograph
Work types
magazine

Description

TRANSCRIPTION

We thought we knew it all. Then we discovered Machu Picchu.

Panagra - Pan Am
Pan American-Grace Airways - Pan American Airways

We had combed palaces of Persian kings. We had walked through tombs and temples and spired castles. We were ready for something new in lost kingdoms.

Then, one night last January, a couple of archaeologists spun us a tale of a mountaintop city built by the Incas 500 years before the Conquistadores.

The place is Machu Picchu and it wasn't long before we were flying down to South America to find it.

A Panagra jet took us to Lima, and from there we flew to Cuzco, where we embarked on a three-hour zigzag by bus-train along the rushing Urubamba River and 2000 feet up through the clouds to Machu Picchu.

A majestic city walled in by kings. Machu Picchu bears no sign of strife. With a little imagination, you can stand at the perimeter of the city and conjure up images of sharp-eyed Inca warriors peering down at the Conquistadores scurrying below for gold, never dreaming the prize of Machu Picchu lay high above them.

Machu Picchu was never captured, never plundered, yet some time between the days of the Conquistadores and our own, everyone in the city disappeared. Where they went and why is a mystery that haunts you all through the ruins.

For us, this is the most spectacular sight in all the Western Hemisphere. And, if there are any challenges to that statement, they're in South America, too.

Lake Titicaca (between Bolivia and Peru) is the highest navigable lake in the world. Argentina's Iguassú Falls dwarfs Niagra. For sheer size and beauty, there's Punta del Este, Viña del Mar, and scores of other resorts.

So it goes (and we went with it) down one coast from Lima to Santiago, then over to Buenos Aires - all with Panagra. Then up the other coast through Montevideo, Asunción, São Paulo, Rio, Brasilia and Caracas - all with Pan Am. Wish we could do it all again.

A word from the airlines we flew: Nobody knows South America like Panagra-Pan Am. This is the only airline system that can fly you completely 'round the continent. Fast jets, frequent flights, a wealth of experience, plus the utmost in passenger comfort. You can see both coasts for the price of a round-trip ticket to Buenos Aires. See the West Coast with Panagra, the East Coast with Pan Am. Go one way, return the other. The new 30-day Jet economy excursion fare 'round the continent comes out the same:$550 from New York, $520 from Miami, $674 from Los Angeles.

EXHIBITION

Encountering Ancient America: Machu Picchu in Popular Culture, 1911-1965 
February-April 2018

Panagra (Pan American-Grace Airways) was a division of Pan American World Airways, operating throughout Latin America from Panama to Buenos Aires. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Machu Picchu became the poster location for much of Panagra’s advertising. Middle-class Americans, the primary audience for Panagra’s ad campaigns, were shown a ruin that was mysterious, ancient, but most importantly – accessible. The rugged aesthetic of previous depictions gave way to a more approachable, tamed Machu Picchu.

Earlier depictions of Machu Picchu had portrayed it as the stomping-grounds of western archaeologists and adventurers, but mid-century tourism emphasized that Machu Picchu was accessible to less intrepid types – namely, middle-class white Americans.

Collection

Ephemera Collection
 

Repository

Dumbarton Oaks Archives, 054.SUZ.02.PCbox.096
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC
Accession number AR.EP.MG.0641
Creator
Places
Machupicchu (Cuzco [Peru])
Cuzco (Peru)
Peru
Date
1965
Measurements
8.5 x 11.5 inches
Materials/Techniques
colorized photograph
Work types
magazine

Index Terms

Related Items