Saturday December 2nd, 2023
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8 Incredible Vintage Photos of Egypt's First Plane, Train, and Automobile

These amazing vintage photos of Egypt will take you back to a time when Oum El Donia was consistently ahead of other countries in adopting technology that changed the way we travel.

Staff Writer

A century ago, Egypt was considered a cosmopolitan city that was on point, often leading the way in adopting the latest technologies well before other major cities at the time. Sadly, adopting the advancements in technology is no longer one of the nation’s top priority and when it does finally jump on the technological trend it’s often many years after it introduced. For instance, It’s 2017 and Egypt is only now finally implementing the 4G network. This lethargic rate of advancement leaves many frustrated, which is why many Egyptians love looking back at vintage photos of an Egypt that was consistently ahead of the times. To fulfil our weekly dose of nostalgia we decided to investigate the stories and find breath-taking vintage photos of the first plane, train, and automobile in Egypt.Egypt’s first plane and airline debuted in 1931. At the time, Alan Muntz, chairman of Airwork, managed to acquire from Egypt’s government the exclusivity of air transport operations and on the 7th of June 1932 launched Misr Airlines, becoming only the seventh carrier in the world and began flights between Cairo, Alexandria, and Mersa Matruh.The initial investment was EGP20,000, with the ownership split between the Misr Bank (5%), Airwork (10%), and Egyptian private investors holding (5%).

Eventually, the Egyptian state became the sole shareholder and decided to rename the airline to Misrair between the years 1949-1957 before being renamed the United Arab Airlines. It wasn’t until 1971 that the airline would be renamed EgyptAir, celebrating the countries decision to change its name officially to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The first train and railway were inaugurated in Egypt by Khedive Abbas in 1854. At the time, Egypt was officially the second country to have a railway, after the UK, and its first railway connected Kafr el-Zayyat to Alexandria.Incredibly, this wasn’t the first time a railway was proposed in Egypt, as in 1834 the UK approached Mohamed Ali Pasha with the same idea. Mohamed Ali Pasha not only rejected the proposal for the railway but also rejected the idea to build the Suez Canal fearing it would lead to foreign dominance.The first car to land in Egypt was a French made Dion-Bouton delivered to Prince Aziz Hassan, grandson of Khedive Ismail, in 1890. This also marked the first time any Egyptian was able to drive without running into Cairo’s notoriously awful traffic. Accompanied by two friends in 1904, Prince Hassan took a trip from Cairo to Alex, which at the time took over 10 hours to accomplish. An impressive feat considering the Cairo-Alex road didn’t exist at the time, and even when it was built only improved travel time slightly when factoring in faster cars and traffic, a problem solved with the roads recent renovations. By the end of 1905, a reported 166 motorised vehicles could be found in both Cairo and Alexandria.We may not be able to travel back in time, but that won't stop us from at least trying to grow Prince Aziz Hassan's bad ass moustache.