chief mate) dating back to the 14th century and the civilian United States Merchant Marine on which US aviation is somewhat modeled.
Due to international conventions and agreements, in which all ships' personnel who sail internationally are similarly documented by their respective countries, the U. Merchant Marine assigns such duties to the chief steward in the overall rank and command structure of which pursers are not positionally represented or rostered.
Lead flight attendants would in many instances also perform the role of purser, steward, or chief steward in modern aviation terminology. Other airlines followed suit, hiring nurses to serve as flight attendants, then called "stewardesses" or "air hostesses", on most of their flights.
In the United States, the job was one of only a few in the 1930s to permit women, which, coupled with the Great Depression, led to large numbers of applicants for the few positions available.
Imperial Airways of the United Kingdom had "cabin boys" or "stewards"; in the 1920s.
In the US, Stout Airways was the first to employ stewards in 1926, working on Ford Trimotor planes between Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
They then must do a safety demonstration or monitor passengers as they watch a safety video.