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Europe/Other : French aviation history on postcards

 

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pigdoc

24 Feb 2018
10:51:57am
Hi Folks,

Posting this because I am looking for some help in translating the message.

The item is a PPC of Wilbur Wright, captioned: "The American aviator Wright
at the flight post holding in hands the levers of direction of his aeroplane."

The reverse contains a message that appears to give a clue at the end about when it was posted. To me, this is critical as to its 'collectability'.

Wilbur Wright arrived in France in May, 1908, and over the next year, made over 200 flights in Europe. However, the 1905 Wright Flyer, which was shipped and arrived in Le Havre France prior to Wilbur, was damaged in shipping, requiring considerable work to make it airworthy again. Le Mans was the location of the workshop. The first flight actually took place on August 8, 1908. Additional flights were made on September 3, 16, and 22. The flight on October 6 was the first with a passenger. There were many more flights and by October 15, some 30 passengers had been up with Wilbur. The location of the later flights was Auvours. The landing field at Auvours is just a few miles East of Le Mans.
Image Not Found

The address is La Suze sur Sarthe, which is about 20 miles Southwest of Le Mans. It looks like a receiver cancel on the reverse, perhaps with the date of "29".

On the front the CDS seems to show the date of "28". And, a year that is 0_, perhaps 08.

I can't make out much of the message, but about 3 lines from the end of it, I can make out "dans les meilluere compagnie comme capitaine"... or "in the best company as captain"...

The very last line seems to contain the elements of a date or time, or... the "28" in the last line is compelling as perhaps part of a date.

Oh, and can anyone make out the post office shown in the CDS on the front? Looks like "GARE" (STATION) something...and, I think I see "SARTH..." at the bottom of that CDS.

By the way, the course of the Sarthe River is just a mile or so to the North and West of Auvours, between it and Le Mans.

Any help would be appreciated! Any comments on the use of the 10c stamp as overpayment for a local delivery address?

Isn't postal history intriguing?







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nigelc
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25 Feb 2018
11:02:02am
re: French aviation history on postcards

Hi pigdoc,

I completely agree about postal history! Happy

Here's my rough attempt at deciphering this. I'm afraid I don't recognise all the words.


Ma chère Marie,

Je viens de voir nos voisins au moment nous allions [tauper?] à champagne avec Landry et d'autres copains.

Je me porte très bien et chez nous ça doit être pareil.

Nous sommes dans la meillleure compagnie comme capitaine, on fait à peu près ce que [l'ameut?]

Toujours à tous.

(initials)

à la 11e Cie du 28e Territorial



and a very rough translation:


My dear Marie,

I just saw our neighbours when we were going to [drink?] champagne with Landry and other friends.

I'm doing very well and at home it must be the same.

We are in the best company, as captain we do pretty much what [we like? / we're given to do?]

Always (best wishes?) to everyone.

(Initials)

11th Company of the 28th Territorial Regiment



Maybe a French speaker will correct my mistakes. Happy

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

25 Feb 2018
12:20:23pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

fabulous card and great message; thanks

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pigdoc

25 Feb 2018
12:44:20pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

Thanks SO much for the translation, Nigel!

I must admit that I am mildly disappointed that the message was not more related to the subject of the image, but it is what it is! Your translation is close enough to provide a thorough summation of the gist of the message.

I will have to look into the relationship of that military regiment to Wright's demonstration flights, though it should be apparent, almost without saying, that the French military was highly interested in these demonstrations!

-Paul


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pigdoc

25 Feb 2018
12:59:54pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

On a second read of the translation, I am excited to gain the impression that "our neighbours" refers to the group involved with putting on the flight demonstrations!

So, I believe the message bears witness to an eye witness of a flight!

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!

-Paul

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pigdoc

27 Feb 2018
02:33:05pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

Couple of items which arrived today to show.

First is the Bleriot postcard, apparently sold as a souvenir at the Grande Quinzaine de Paris, October 1909. The image on the obverse is of Bleriot's model XII as flown in the Grande Semaine D'Aviation, by Louis himself, which occurred the last week of August, 1909. When I bought this card, the reverse was not shown in the listing. Imagine my ecstasy at noting that it was posted DURING and AT the event it commemorates. That's what I'm looking for in this collection!

Image Not Found

The other item is of "Le Wright", the Wright 1905 Flyer. This card was apparently produced as a souvenir of the Grande Semaine D'Aviation, August 22-29, 1909. Wilbur Wright was not given to entering in these air exhibitions, yet the Wright Flyer was flown by de Lambert in this competition. He won 5000 francs for finishing 4th in the Grand Prix competition, completing 3 laps (30km) of the circuit in 29 minutes flat. That's about 36MPH. I suspect that the image is from one of Wilbur's demonstration flights at Le Mans or Camp Auvours, in 1908. In fact, that looks like Wilbur's hat on the pilot. The cancel on the obverse is Reims (where the exhibition was held) August 21, 1909. The receiver cancel on the reverse is August 26. Again, a usage contemporary with the event it commemorates!

Image Not Found

Another interesting feature of this item is the wear on the obverse from the impressions of the cancels on the reverse - both of them. You'd have to be a very dedicated counterfeiter to think about creating those effects!

Isn't postal history arousing?

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pigdoc

27 Feb 2018
02:55:47pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

By the way, de Lambert was famous for circling the Eiffel Tower in the Wright Flyer on October 18, 1909:

Image Not Found

Remember, folks, this is BEFORE Photoshop! :-)
This card was posted just 2 days after that event, from its location, Paris. I have to believe that the sender witnessed it. Note the foreign destination, requiring double the domestic postage. And, it's cancelled at both the nondeliverable destination as well as the final destination!

Image Not Found

SCHWINGGGG!

Yes, I'm working on an exhibit.

-Paul

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ikeyPikey
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27 Feb 2018
10:23:11pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

"Remember, folks, this is BEFORE Photoshop! :-)"



One of my "set aside piles" are cards with gently doctored images.

For example, the sign bearing the name of a hotel is often enhanced by hand.

The most easily detected "improvements" are to cards published >100 years ago.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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pigdoc

28 Feb 2018
02:02:03pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

Yes, as I thought later about my "Photoshop" comment, I realized that photo-trickery is as old as photography itself.

To wit:
Image Not Found

Clearly, a fantasy image. This item will not be part of my collection, but it does illustrate what was possible in 1910...

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ikeyPikey
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28 Feb 2018
09:17:31pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

"... This item will not be part of my collection ..."



Why not? It was (GUESSING) a privately-published postcard to begin with, so why would the souveniring enhancements be exclusionary?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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pigdoc

01 Mar 2018
08:59:36am
re: French aviation history on postcards

Well , I have a rather purist vision for this collection/exhibit: Each item's subject will represent an individual accomplishment. It's a similar idea to baseball cards, I guess. Only, I'm highly preferential to postally used items, and furthermore, used during the event or performance that is being commemorated by the card's subject. Beyond that, if the message on the card comments on its subject, that's even better.

Right now, I'm in the process of quantifying the individual competitors on their cumulative accomplishments - not too hard to do, considering that there were generous cash awards at most of these events for things like fastest, highest, longest. I don't think I've mentioned here that there were FORTY-THREE major air exhibitions in Europe between March and December, 1910! Most of these were 'international' in the range of participants. What seemed to touch off the phenomenon was the Grande Semaine, in Reims, August, 1909. There were a HALF MILLION in the audience for that event! So, there are LOTS of these postcards around - the field lends itself to selectivity.

I'll probably start considering the historical duration of their legacies as well...Can't really collect 'em all I guess, looking for ways to make the collection a focused selection.


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lerivage

07 Apr 2018
09:00:24am
re: French aviation history on postcards

An updated transcript and translation

Ma chère Marie,

Je viens de voir nos voisins au moment nous allions souper à champagne avec Landry et d'autres copains.

Je me porte très bien et chez nous ça doit être pareil.

Nous sommes dans la meilleure compagnie comme capitaine, on fait à peu près ce que l'on veut

Bonjour à tous et à la 11e Cie du 28e Territorial

(initials)

and a translation:


My dear Marie,

I just saw our neighbours as we were having dinner with champagne with Landry and other chums.
I'm doing very well and for you it must be the same.
We are in the best company, as with the captain we do pretty much what we like.
Best wishes to everyone and to the 11th Company of the 28th Territorial Regiment


(Initials)
Maybe a French speaker will correct my mistakes. Happy

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pigdoc

07 Apr 2018
10:23:27am
re: French aviation history on postcards

Thanks for that, levirage!

Since my original posting, I have been researching the emergence of aviation in France in much greater depth.

Wilbur Wright's first flight in France was on August 8, 1908. This was at the racetrack in Le Mans. Shortly after that, he moved to Camp Auvours, still in the Sarthe river valley, but about 10 miles East of Le Mans. His first flight of more than 15 minutes duration at Camp Auvours was on September 5. Camp Auvours was also occupied by an artillery regiment (the 28th?) at the time.

Wilbur made sustained flights on September 28th (1 hour, 7 minutes, 24 seconds) and on October 28 (15 minutes, 2 seconds, with a passenger). Winds often died down in the evenings, so many of Wilbur's flights would have been made about dinnertime. I am presuming that the reference in the card's message, "saw our neighbours as we were having dinner..." can be interpreted to mean that the sender and his "chums" saw Wilbur flying.

You translated the last line of the message as:

"Best wishes to everyone and to the 11th Company of the 28th Territorial Regiment "



I guess I might challenge the words "and to" in that translation, because I think the sender was probably a member of the 28th Regiment and stationed at Camp Auvours. I don't see the "et" before "à la". And I think it's not "11th" Company, I think it's more likely to be II Company, the second Company. The other thing is that, at the bottom, I think the sender signed with his initials: G. something. (S.? F.?)

I guess what there is for me to do yet is to locate the 28th Regiment in September and October of 1908. Can anybody help me with that?

THANKS!
-Paul


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pigdoc

07 Apr 2018
11:04:25am
re: French aviation history on postcards

Ah, just scored this one, minutes ago:

Image Not Found

At first glance, this card seemed wrong, because it was posted nearly 8 months after the event it commemorates. The event commemorated is Wilbur Wright winning the Michelin Cup for longest distance flown in 1908, 124.7km, on December 31, for which he was awarded the Michelin Cup, and a cash prize of 20,000F (about $4000 in 1908 dollars, over $60,000 in 2018 dollars!). This flight also took place at Camp Auvours and also set a new World Record.

Then, I thought about the dates and locations. The sending postmark is (something) GARE (station), _ _ _ N E, which I'm presuming is MARNE. The date appears to be August 26. The receiver cancel on the reverse is MONTIGNY, HAUTE MARNE, August 27, 1909. Guess what, the 1909 Grande Semaine d'Aviation Champagne took place August 22-28, 1909, and Montigny is a scant 35 km from where that event occurred! I am presuming that the card was purchased as a souvenir at this event by the sender, at what was truly the greatest air meet held to date with an estimated 500,000 in attendance and a 200,000F purse.

So, the card became more valuable to my collection! I paid just $5 for it. (I don't think that's Wilbur's original autograph!)

There's something else on the card that I'm scratching my head over: The sender's 'signature' looks like "Juvisy" to me. Juvisy-sur-Orge is on the southwest edge of Paris, about 300 km from where the event was. It is also the location of what was, arguably, the first airport in the World, Port-Aviation, and a hotbed of aviation research in those early days by Voisin, Bleriot, and others. Louis Bleriot tested his Model XI's fuel mileage here about 3 weeks before he became the first to fly the English Channel, on July 27, 1909.

Isn't postal history amazing?

-Paul


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ikeyPikey
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07 Apr 2018
11:11:58pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

Good on you to have defined your topic; my purchases are more scatter-brained and, then, sometimes, sorted into general topical areas.

One topical area I actively collect are the French (& Belgian) BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment) postcards, publication of which began while the war was still on.

Some show one scene before & after, most just document the damage.

I have a few complete booklets, but I am loathe to break them out.

GPU (Genuinely Postally Used) cards are rare; people bought these to make a point of remembrance, not to make somebody's day.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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pigdoc

08 Apr 2018
09:50:56am
re: French aviation history on postcards

Thanks for that, Ike!

I kind of fell into this area of postal history collecting after reading David McCullough's excellent book, The Wright Brothers, which documents Wilbur's time in France, selling the Wright Flyer. He wrote of just how fanatical the public was over this new phenomenon, manned flight in powered, heavier-than-air machines. And then, I became aware of the explosion of promotion that occurred to serve the craze. By accident, I encountered a souvenir postcard from the 1909 Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne, and the rest is history. Still, a very short history so far, but it is a very rich and intriguing area of historical study. As I got into it, I discovered that there was a LOT of material out there, and much of it is GPU picture postcards, which were, coincidentally, reaching their height of popularity then. One can almost feel the exuberance of the buyers and senders of these souvenirs of their experiences!

So far, I have documented nearly FIFTY air exhibitions that occurred in 1910 alone. Most of these were in France. I'm focused on 1908 through 1913, kind of culminating in the last Gordon Bennett race before WWI, which was on September 29, 1913, at the same place as the first, in 1909, at Betheny, Reims. Remarkably, in those five short years, the winning speed increased from 47.65 MPH (Glenn Curtiss) to 124.5 MPH (Marcel Prevost).

I have had a lifelong passion for aviation, and the stories around how it 'found its wings' and the birth of aeronautics are amazing tales!

-Paul

PS, I am finding that there comes a time when a person seeks more acute focus in their passions...


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pigdoc

08 Apr 2018
11:11:39am
re: French aviation history on postcards

Here's one that came in the mail yesterday:

Image Not Found

Subject is Madame De Laroche. Here is her history: The first woman to earn a fixed-wing pilot's license, on July 8, 1910, she competed for the Women's prize at Reims in a Voisin biplane, and suffered a crash from altitude. She survived, and returned to flying after recovery, setting women's records for distance (323km) and altitude (4500m) in 1913. She died as a passenger in another crash at Crotoy on July 19, 1919 while training to fly a Caudron.

The postcard is cancelled at Reims on July 10, 1910, during the second annual Grande Semaine d'Aviation at that venue. The sender's message on the reverse starts:

"Je suis ci Reims pour voir les aviateurs splendide!" which translates to:

"I am here Reims to see the splendid airmen!"

It was sent to Madamoiselle Valerie.

I presume that the card was purchased in sympathy for Madame De Laroche's mishap at this event.

Enjoy!
-Paul

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ikeyPikey
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08 Apr 2018
07:53:03pm
re: French aviation history on postcards

Wait!

They had pilot's licenses in 1910?

Whodathunkit?

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
        

 

Author/Postings
pigdoc

24 Feb 2018
10:51:57am

Hi Folks,

Posting this because I am looking for some help in translating the message.

The item is a PPC of Wilbur Wright, captioned: "The American aviator Wright
at the flight post holding in hands the levers of direction of his aeroplane."

The reverse contains a message that appears to give a clue at the end about when it was posted. To me, this is critical as to its 'collectability'.

Wilbur Wright arrived in France in May, 1908, and over the next year, made over 200 flights in Europe. However, the 1905 Wright Flyer, which was shipped and arrived in Le Havre France prior to Wilbur, was damaged in shipping, requiring considerable work to make it airworthy again. Le Mans was the location of the workshop. The first flight actually took place on August 8, 1908. Additional flights were made on September 3, 16, and 22. The flight on October 6 was the first with a passenger. There were many more flights and by October 15, some 30 passengers had been up with Wilbur. The location of the later flights was Auvours. The landing field at Auvours is just a few miles East of Le Mans.
Image Not Found

The address is La Suze sur Sarthe, which is about 20 miles Southwest of Le Mans. It looks like a receiver cancel on the reverse, perhaps with the date of "29".

On the front the CDS seems to show the date of "28". And, a year that is 0_, perhaps 08.

I can't make out much of the message, but about 3 lines from the end of it, I can make out "dans les meilluere compagnie comme capitaine"... or "in the best company as captain"...

The very last line seems to contain the elements of a date or time, or... the "28" in the last line is compelling as perhaps part of a date.

Oh, and can anyone make out the post office shown in the CDS on the front? Looks like "GARE" (STATION) something...and, I think I see "SARTH..." at the bottom of that CDS.

By the way, the course of the Sarthe River is just a mile or so to the North and West of Auvours, between it and Le Mans.

Any help would be appreciated! Any comments on the use of the 10c stamp as overpayment for a local delivery address?

Isn't postal history intriguing?







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nigelc

25 Feb 2018
11:02:02am

re: French aviation history on postcards

Hi pigdoc,

I completely agree about postal history! Happy

Here's my rough attempt at deciphering this. I'm afraid I don't recognise all the words.


Ma chère Marie,

Je viens de voir nos voisins au moment nous allions [tauper?] à champagne avec Landry et d'autres copains.

Je me porte très bien et chez nous ça doit être pareil.

Nous sommes dans la meillleure compagnie comme capitaine, on fait à peu près ce que [l'ameut?]

Toujours à tous.

(initials)

à la 11e Cie du 28e Territorial



and a very rough translation:


My dear Marie,

I just saw our neighbours when we were going to [drink?] champagne with Landry and other friends.

I'm doing very well and at home it must be the same.

We are in the best company, as captain we do pretty much what [we like? / we're given to do?]

Always (best wishes?) to everyone.

(Initials)

11th Company of the 28th Territorial Regiment



Maybe a French speaker will correct my mistakes. Happy

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
25 Feb 2018
12:20:23pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

fabulous card and great message; thanks

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link. ...
pigdoc

25 Feb 2018
12:44:20pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

Thanks SO much for the translation, Nigel!

I must admit that I am mildly disappointed that the message was not more related to the subject of the image, but it is what it is! Your translation is close enough to provide a thorough summation of the gist of the message.

I will have to look into the relationship of that military regiment to Wright's demonstration flights, though it should be apparent, almost without saying, that the French military was highly interested in these demonstrations!

-Paul


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pigdoc

25 Feb 2018
12:59:54pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

On a second read of the translation, I am excited to gain the impression that "our neighbours" refers to the group involved with putting on the flight demonstrations!

So, I believe the message bears witness to an eye witness of a flight!

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!

-Paul

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pigdoc

27 Feb 2018
02:33:05pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

Couple of items which arrived today to show.

First is the Bleriot postcard, apparently sold as a souvenir at the Grande Quinzaine de Paris, October 1909. The image on the obverse is of Bleriot's model XII as flown in the Grande Semaine D'Aviation, by Louis himself, which occurred the last week of August, 1909. When I bought this card, the reverse was not shown in the listing. Imagine my ecstasy at noting that it was posted DURING and AT the event it commemorates. That's what I'm looking for in this collection!

Image Not Found

The other item is of "Le Wright", the Wright 1905 Flyer. This card was apparently produced as a souvenir of the Grande Semaine D'Aviation, August 22-29, 1909. Wilbur Wright was not given to entering in these air exhibitions, yet the Wright Flyer was flown by de Lambert in this competition. He won 5000 francs for finishing 4th in the Grand Prix competition, completing 3 laps (30km) of the circuit in 29 minutes flat. That's about 36MPH. I suspect that the image is from one of Wilbur's demonstration flights at Le Mans or Camp Auvours, in 1908. In fact, that looks like Wilbur's hat on the pilot. The cancel on the obverse is Reims (where the exhibition was held) August 21, 1909. The receiver cancel on the reverse is August 26. Again, a usage contemporary with the event it commemorates!

Image Not Found

Another interesting feature of this item is the wear on the obverse from the impressions of the cancels on the reverse - both of them. You'd have to be a very dedicated counterfeiter to think about creating those effects!

Isn't postal history arousing?

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pigdoc

27 Feb 2018
02:55:47pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

By the way, de Lambert was famous for circling the Eiffel Tower in the Wright Flyer on October 18, 1909:

Image Not Found

Remember, folks, this is BEFORE Photoshop! :-)
This card was posted just 2 days after that event, from its location, Paris. I have to believe that the sender witnessed it. Note the foreign destination, requiring double the domestic postage. And, it's cancelled at both the nondeliverable destination as well as the final destination!

Image Not Found

SCHWINGGGG!

Yes, I'm working on an exhibit.

-Paul

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ikeyPikey

27 Feb 2018
10:23:11pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

"Remember, folks, this is BEFORE Photoshop! :-)"



One of my "set aside piles" are cards with gently doctored images.

For example, the sign bearing the name of a hotel is often enhanced by hand.

The most easily detected "improvements" are to cards published >100 years ago.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
pigdoc

28 Feb 2018
02:02:03pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

Yes, as I thought later about my "Photoshop" comment, I realized that photo-trickery is as old as photography itself.

To wit:
Image Not Found

Clearly, a fantasy image. This item will not be part of my collection, but it does illustrate what was possible in 1910...

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ikeyPikey

28 Feb 2018
09:17:31pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

"... This item will not be part of my collection ..."



Why not? It was (GUESSING) a privately-published postcard to begin with, so why would the souveniring enhancements be exclusionary?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
pigdoc

01 Mar 2018
08:59:36am

re: French aviation history on postcards

Well , I have a rather purist vision for this collection/exhibit: Each item's subject will represent an individual accomplishment. It's a similar idea to baseball cards, I guess. Only, I'm highly preferential to postally used items, and furthermore, used during the event or performance that is being commemorated by the card's subject. Beyond that, if the message on the card comments on its subject, that's even better.

Right now, I'm in the process of quantifying the individual competitors on their cumulative accomplishments - not too hard to do, considering that there were generous cash awards at most of these events for things like fastest, highest, longest. I don't think I've mentioned here that there were FORTY-THREE major air exhibitions in Europe between March and December, 1910! Most of these were 'international' in the range of participants. What seemed to touch off the phenomenon was the Grande Semaine, in Reims, August, 1909. There were a HALF MILLION in the audience for that event! So, there are LOTS of these postcards around - the field lends itself to selectivity.

I'll probably start considering the historical duration of their legacies as well...Can't really collect 'em all I guess, looking for ways to make the collection a focused selection.


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lerivage

07 Apr 2018
09:00:24am

re: French aviation history on postcards

An updated transcript and translation

Ma chère Marie,

Je viens de voir nos voisins au moment nous allions souper à champagne avec Landry et d'autres copains.

Je me porte très bien et chez nous ça doit être pareil.

Nous sommes dans la meilleure compagnie comme capitaine, on fait à peu près ce que l'on veut

Bonjour à tous et à la 11e Cie du 28e Territorial

(initials)

and a translation:


My dear Marie,

I just saw our neighbours as we were having dinner with champagne with Landry and other chums.
I'm doing very well and for you it must be the same.
We are in the best company, as with the captain we do pretty much what we like.
Best wishes to everyone and to the 11th Company of the 28th Territorial Regiment


(Initials)
Maybe a French speaker will correct my mistakes. Happy

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pigdoc

07 Apr 2018
10:23:27am

re: French aviation history on postcards

Thanks for that, levirage!

Since my original posting, I have been researching the emergence of aviation in France in much greater depth.

Wilbur Wright's first flight in France was on August 8, 1908. This was at the racetrack in Le Mans. Shortly after that, he moved to Camp Auvours, still in the Sarthe river valley, but about 10 miles East of Le Mans. His first flight of more than 15 minutes duration at Camp Auvours was on September 5. Camp Auvours was also occupied by an artillery regiment (the 28th?) at the time.

Wilbur made sustained flights on September 28th (1 hour, 7 minutes, 24 seconds) and on October 28 (15 minutes, 2 seconds, with a passenger). Winds often died down in the evenings, so many of Wilbur's flights would have been made about dinnertime. I am presuming that the reference in the card's message, "saw our neighbours as we were having dinner..." can be interpreted to mean that the sender and his "chums" saw Wilbur flying.

You translated the last line of the message as:

"Best wishes to everyone and to the 11th Company of the 28th Territorial Regiment "



I guess I might challenge the words "and to" in that translation, because I think the sender was probably a member of the 28th Regiment and stationed at Camp Auvours. I don't see the "et" before "à la". And I think it's not "11th" Company, I think it's more likely to be II Company, the second Company. The other thing is that, at the bottom, I think the sender signed with his initials: G. something. (S.? F.?)

I guess what there is for me to do yet is to locate the 28th Regiment in September and October of 1908. Can anybody help me with that?

THANKS!
-Paul


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pigdoc

07 Apr 2018
11:04:25am

re: French aviation history on postcards

Ah, just scored this one, minutes ago:

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At first glance, this card seemed wrong, because it was posted nearly 8 months after the event it commemorates. The event commemorated is Wilbur Wright winning the Michelin Cup for longest distance flown in 1908, 124.7km, on December 31, for which he was awarded the Michelin Cup, and a cash prize of 20,000F (about $4000 in 1908 dollars, over $60,000 in 2018 dollars!). This flight also took place at Camp Auvours and also set a new World Record.

Then, I thought about the dates and locations. The sending postmark is (something) GARE (station), _ _ _ N E, which I'm presuming is MARNE. The date appears to be August 26. The receiver cancel on the reverse is MONTIGNY, HAUTE MARNE, August 27, 1909. Guess what, the 1909 Grande Semaine d'Aviation Champagne took place August 22-28, 1909, and Montigny is a scant 35 km from where that event occurred! I am presuming that the card was purchased as a souvenir at this event by the sender, at what was truly the greatest air meet held to date with an estimated 500,000 in attendance and a 200,000F purse.

So, the card became more valuable to my collection! I paid just $5 for it. (I don't think that's Wilbur's original autograph!)

There's something else on the card that I'm scratching my head over: The sender's 'signature' looks like "Juvisy" to me. Juvisy-sur-Orge is on the southwest edge of Paris, about 300 km from where the event was. It is also the location of what was, arguably, the first airport in the World, Port-Aviation, and a hotbed of aviation research in those early days by Voisin, Bleriot, and others. Louis Bleriot tested his Model XI's fuel mileage here about 3 weeks before he became the first to fly the English Channel, on July 27, 1909.

Isn't postal history amazing?

-Paul


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ikeyPikey

07 Apr 2018
11:11:58pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

Good on you to have defined your topic; my purchases are more scatter-brained and, then, sometimes, sorted into general topical areas.

One topical area I actively collect are the French (& Belgian) BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment) postcards, publication of which began while the war was still on.

Some show one scene before & after, most just document the damage.

I have a few complete booklets, but I am loathe to break them out.

GPU (Genuinely Postally Used) cards are rare; people bought these to make a point of remembrance, not to make somebody's day.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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pigdoc

08 Apr 2018
09:50:56am

re: French aviation history on postcards

Thanks for that, Ike!

I kind of fell into this area of postal history collecting after reading David McCullough's excellent book, The Wright Brothers, which documents Wilbur's time in France, selling the Wright Flyer. He wrote of just how fanatical the public was over this new phenomenon, manned flight in powered, heavier-than-air machines. And then, I became aware of the explosion of promotion that occurred to serve the craze. By accident, I encountered a souvenir postcard from the 1909 Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne, and the rest is history. Still, a very short history so far, but it is a very rich and intriguing area of historical study. As I got into it, I discovered that there was a LOT of material out there, and much of it is GPU picture postcards, which were, coincidentally, reaching their height of popularity then. One can almost feel the exuberance of the buyers and senders of these souvenirs of their experiences!

So far, I have documented nearly FIFTY air exhibitions that occurred in 1910 alone. Most of these were in France. I'm focused on 1908 through 1913, kind of culminating in the last Gordon Bennett race before WWI, which was on September 29, 1913, at the same place as the first, in 1909, at Betheny, Reims. Remarkably, in those five short years, the winning speed increased from 47.65 MPH (Glenn Curtiss) to 124.5 MPH (Marcel Prevost).

I have had a lifelong passion for aviation, and the stories around how it 'found its wings' and the birth of aeronautics are amazing tales!

-Paul

PS, I am finding that there comes a time when a person seeks more acute focus in their passions...


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pigdoc

08 Apr 2018
11:11:39am

re: French aviation history on postcards

Here's one that came in the mail yesterday:

Image Not Found

Subject is Madame De Laroche. Here is her history: The first woman to earn a fixed-wing pilot's license, on July 8, 1910, she competed for the Women's prize at Reims in a Voisin biplane, and suffered a crash from altitude. She survived, and returned to flying after recovery, setting women's records for distance (323km) and altitude (4500m) in 1913. She died as a passenger in another crash at Crotoy on July 19, 1919 while training to fly a Caudron.

The postcard is cancelled at Reims on July 10, 1910, during the second annual Grande Semaine d'Aviation at that venue. The sender's message on the reverse starts:

"Je suis ci Reims pour voir les aviateurs splendide!" which translates to:

"I am here Reims to see the splendid airmen!"

It was sent to Madamoiselle Valerie.

I presume that the card was purchased in sympathy for Madame De Laroche's mishap at this event.

Enjoy!
-Paul

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ikeyPikey

08 Apr 2018
07:53:03pm

re: French aviation history on postcards

Wait!

They had pilot's licenses in 1910?

Whodathunkit?

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