N709Y is one of 16 model 100A’s and the 5th 100A built by the American Aircraft & Engine Corp. in 1931. In all, 22 were built for American Airways and four for the military. A state-of-the-art airliner in 1931, it was the first plane with steam heat, luggage racks and a toilet, the last of the fabric-covered airliners. The Pilgrim was a victim of its time with the new federal Commerce Department, which insisted on dual pilots and dual sets of controls. The Douglas DC-3 came out in 1933, and Pilgrims were relegated to bone yards. Murrell W. Sasseen and Herbert Nicholson bought this Pilgrim, N709Y, to Alaska in August 1936 for Alaska Air Express, and it flew continuously for 50 years by one owner or another.