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Worldwide/(All) : Origins/Demise of Air Mail

 

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pigdoc

21 Aug 2018
03:10:02pm
Surfed around the existing threads, for "air mail", and found lots of stuff, but nothing right up this alley: The beginnings and endings of air mail routes, worldwide. Did not want to exclude Zeppelin mail, or other forms of air mail.

Going to kick the thread off with this, from the March 18, 1911 issue of Flight magazine:
Image Not Found

The continuation of the article reads:
"...special cancelling die was cut in the postal workshops at Aligarh and the accompanying photograph shows an envelope which contains a letter transmitted by this novel means. Quite a large number of the letters which arrived by the Indian mail on Saturday last bear this novel postmark, and doubtless when this mode of carrying mails is a thing of ordinary routine, these early mementos will have considerable interest attaching to them as historical souvenirs."

And how.

The previous day, an unofficial airmail flight was conducted by Fred Wiseman, who carried three letters between Petaluma and Santa Rosa, California.

Here's another cover, just surfed at eBay (at 450 quid, too rich for my blood):
Image Not Found
Backstamped Allahabad 18FEB11 and 19FEB11. The flight took 13 minutes.

I was motivated to start this thread by feeling the need to better understand this history. Anybody have any good comprehensive references to point to? Looking for routes, dates of first flights, industrial history, etc., up through the end of WWII.

-Paul

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StampWrangler
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21 Aug 2018
04:19:45pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

This will be a fascinating topic - good start!

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

21 Aug 2018
09:52:48pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

The American Air Mail Society has a catalog for US Airmail. That is where I got info for this page and several others like it in my collection:

Image Not Found

I don't have a catalog; someone looked it up for me years ago. AAMS has a web site (http://www.americanairmailsociety.org/), and there is a page with links to other Airmail Societies (e.g. Air Mail Society of New Zealand, British Airmail Society, etc.).

Lars

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pigdoc

21 Aug 2018
10:09:14pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Thanks Lars!

I've started cataloging my covers, creating scans of them which are hyperlinked in a spreadsheet. Kind of a back-up of my collection, for inventory/appraisal/accounting purposes. Just by coincidence, the 'serial number' system that I settled on for them is YYMMDD, just like the AAMC uses! If the cover has markings on the reverse, I append either an 'o' (obverse) or 'r' (reverse) to the file name. I'll probably start incorporating "FAM" or "CAM" into the file names also.

-Paul

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Bobstamp
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21 Aug 2018
11:30:52pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

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smauggie
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22 Aug 2018
09:12:17am
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

I created a 45 minute or so presentation on the origin of airmail. Here is a quote from my presentation regarding the first piece of mail delivered by air travel.

"Jean Pierre Blanchard, a French balloonist conducted
a trial flight on January 9, 1793 from Philadelphia to
Deptford, NJ.

Upon his person was a letter from president Geo.
Washington to the owner of the property upon which
Mr. Blanchard would land.

On delivering the letter, Mr. Blanchard remarked, “How
dear the name of Washington is to this people! With what
eagerness they gave me all possible assistance"

!”

Air travel was so foreign that it was deemed a letter of introduction was needed from George Washington himself to the landowner upon which the balloon was to land.

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canalzonepostalhistory.wordpress.com
jillcrow

23 Aug 2018
04:58:08am
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Here's an interesting article on England's first Aerial Post, which took place in September 1911:
http://www.thamesweb.co.uk/aviation/aerialpost.html

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smauggie
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23 Aug 2018
03:43:43pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

The first officially approved delivery of US mail (or any official mail delivery) via air is granted for a flight scheduled to take place on August 17, 1859. The pilot is John Wise and the craft is his trusty balloon, the Jupiter.

Image Not FoundStamp issued on the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Jupiter.

Wise took off in the morning, counting on the usually strong westerly winds to carry him from his starting point of La Fayette, Indiana to New York City. He carried an officially sealed mailbag with mail addressed to Philadelphia to be mailed from New York upon his arrival.

There was quite a bit of publicity surrounding this flight. Wise had already made a successful long-distance flight to deliver mail privately for the AMerican Express Company.

Sadly the westerlies failed him. After five hours of being buffeted around in the air, he landed . . . and found that he had travelled a whole 30 miles. The highly billed transcontinental flight was lampooned in the press as a "trans-county-nental" flight.

To date only one example of a flown cover has been discovered.

Image Not Found

The National Postal Museum has an image of the enclosed letter, which can be found at: National Postal Museum - First US Airmail

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canalzonepostalhistory.wordpress.com
pigdoc

24 Aug 2018
12:31:23pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Following up here for two reasons:
- I needed to qualify the word "Demise" in the thread title
- I discovered another airmail mode - the Dornier flying boats across the South Atlantic to and from Brazil!

Here's a cover carried by Dornier flying boat:
Image Not Found

Earlier versions will often be in envelopes printed across the bottom with
PAR AVION - VIA "CONDOR"

Condor Syndicat was the entity formed by Lufthansa in 1926 to manage Brazilian interests. The transatlantic route was upgraded from the Dornier Wal to the Dornier Do-18, four of which entered service with Lufthansa beginning in April 1937. The fifth (and final) Do-18 built for Lufthansa had a longer wing, enabling it to fly with one of the two engines out. This aircraft, D-AANE, carried the mails between September, 1937 and March, 1939, before the Do-18 was taken out of service, the demise of this method of carrying mail.

The label on the cover's reverse is a Customs label: "Foreign Exchange Supervision".

By June 1, 1938, two of the four early versions of the Do-18 had been damaged in ocean landings. So, it seems likely that this cover was carried on the last Do-18 used for transatlantic mail carriage.

Here's D-AANE catapulting off her tender:
Image Not Found
She is distinguised by the flatter angle on the struts to accommodate the longer wing.
The aircraft could be launched with a heavier load of fuel from a catapult than she could take off from the water with. There's a remarkable video of a Do-18 catapult launch here:
http://footage.framepool.com/en/shot/908525970-dornier-do-18-catapult-ship-schwabenland-flying-boat

Can anyone add to this story?
Are their places to find out which particular aircraft served a route on a given flight?

-Paul




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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA

24 Aug 2018
10:40:40pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Image Not Found

Page one of my US Airmail collection. I'm not really sure if the cover is legitimate airmail usage. The addressee is the famed Alvin Filstrup of the Covel Manufacturing Company. He was a well known stamp collector and a lot of his covers survive. I have a few.

Image Not Found

I just found a picture of the back side of this cover. Note it flew over the 1925 to 1926 New Year!

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Bobstamp
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24 Aug 2018
10:56:24pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Cover flown on first airmail flight between Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile, and signed by pilot Jean Mermoz, France's "Charles Lindbergh":

Image Not Found

Detail of receiving postmark:

Image Not Found

The Potez 25 that Mermoz flew:

Image Not Found

Bob

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA

24 Aug 2018
11:02:02pm
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Image Not Found

Image Not Found


And why not a baby zep. Seems the ship flew mighty slow!

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't

25 Aug 2018
06:58:16am
re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Currently the only known genuine first day cover the first US air post stamp.
Image Not Found

Image from Siegel "United States Stamp Treasures: The William H. Gross Collection" Catalog. This cover is estimated at $30,000-$40,000 and probably will go higher. This could easily become the highest price ever paid for a First Day Cover.


For any US collector who has not already gotten this catalog, it is really a 'must read'. The catalog is a great reference work and should be in everyone's library. You can download the free PDF version here
https://siegelauctions.com/sales.php?sale_no=1188

Don

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"Current Score... Don 1 - Cancer 0"

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Author/Postings
pigdoc

21 Aug 2018
03:10:02pm

Surfed around the existing threads, for "air mail", and found lots of stuff, but nothing right up this alley: The beginnings and endings of air mail routes, worldwide. Did not want to exclude Zeppelin mail, or other forms of air mail.

Going to kick the thread off with this, from the March 18, 1911 issue of Flight magazine:
Image Not Found

The continuation of the article reads:
"...special cancelling die was cut in the postal workshops at Aligarh and the accompanying photograph shows an envelope which contains a letter transmitted by this novel means. Quite a large number of the letters which arrived by the Indian mail on Saturday last bear this novel postmark, and doubtless when this mode of carrying mails is a thing of ordinary routine, these early mementos will have considerable interest attaching to them as historical souvenirs."

And how.

The previous day, an unofficial airmail flight was conducted by Fred Wiseman, who carried three letters between Petaluma and Santa Rosa, California.

Here's another cover, just surfed at eBay (at 450 quid, too rich for my blood):
Image Not Found
Backstamped Allahabad 18FEB11 and 19FEB11. The flight took 13 minutes.

I was motivated to start this thread by feeling the need to better understand this history. Anybody have any good comprehensive references to point to? Looking for routes, dates of first flights, industrial history, etc., up through the end of WWII.

-Paul

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
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StampWrangler

21 Aug 2018
04:19:45pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

This will be a fascinating topic - good start!

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
21 Aug 2018
09:52:48pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

The American Air Mail Society has a catalog for US Airmail. That is where I got info for this page and several others like it in my collection:

Image Not Found

I don't have a catalog; someone looked it up for me years ago. AAMS has a web site (http://www.americanairmailsociety.org/), and there is a page with links to other Airmail Societies (e.g. Air Mail Society of New Zealand, British Airmail Society, etc.).

Lars

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this post

"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

www.larsdog.com/stam ...
pigdoc

21 Aug 2018
10:09:14pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Thanks Lars!

I've started cataloging my covers, creating scans of them which are hyperlinked in a spreadsheet. Kind of a back-up of my collection, for inventory/appraisal/accounting purposes. Just by coincidence, the 'serial number' system that I settled on for them is YYMMDD, just like the AAMC uses! If the cover has markings on the reverse, I append either an 'o' (obverse) or 'r' (reverse) to the file name. I'll probably start incorporating "FAM" or "CAM" into the file names also.

-Paul

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Bobstamp

21 Aug 2018
11:30:52pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

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2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

www.ephemeraltreasur ...
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smauggie

22 Aug 2018
09:12:17am

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

I created a 45 minute or so presentation on the origin of airmail. Here is a quote from my presentation regarding the first piece of mail delivered by air travel.

"Jean Pierre Blanchard, a French balloonist conducted
a trial flight on January 9, 1793 from Philadelphia to
Deptford, NJ.

Upon his person was a letter from president Geo.
Washington to the owner of the property upon which
Mr. Blanchard would land.

On delivering the letter, Mr. Blanchard remarked, “How
dear the name of Washington is to this people! With what
eagerness they gave me all possible assistance"

!”

Air travel was so foreign that it was deemed a letter of introduction was needed from George Washington himself to the landowner upon which the balloon was to land.

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

canalzonepostalhisto ...
jillcrow

23 Aug 2018
04:58:08am

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Here's an interesting article on England's first Aerial Post, which took place in September 1911:
http://www.thamesweb.co.uk/aviation/aerialpost.html

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
smauggie

23 Aug 2018
03:43:43pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

The first officially approved delivery of US mail (or any official mail delivery) via air is granted for a flight scheduled to take place on August 17, 1859. The pilot is John Wise and the craft is his trusty balloon, the Jupiter.

Image Not FoundStamp issued on the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Jupiter.

Wise took off in the morning, counting on the usually strong westerly winds to carry him from his starting point of La Fayette, Indiana to New York City. He carried an officially sealed mailbag with mail addressed to Philadelphia to be mailed from New York upon his arrival.

There was quite a bit of publicity surrounding this flight. Wise had already made a successful long-distance flight to deliver mail privately for the AMerican Express Company.

Sadly the westerlies failed him. After five hours of being buffeted around in the air, he landed . . . and found that he had travelled a whole 30 miles. The highly billed transcontinental flight was lampooned in the press as a "trans-county-nental" flight.

To date only one example of a flown cover has been discovered.

Image Not Found

The National Postal Museum has an image of the enclosed letter, which can be found at: National Postal Museum - First US Airmail

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

canalzonepostalhisto ...
pigdoc

24 Aug 2018
12:31:23pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Following up here for two reasons:
- I needed to qualify the word "Demise" in the thread title
- I discovered another airmail mode - the Dornier flying boats across the South Atlantic to and from Brazil!

Here's a cover carried by Dornier flying boat:
Image Not Found

Earlier versions will often be in envelopes printed across the bottom with
PAR AVION - VIA "CONDOR"

Condor Syndicat was the entity formed by Lufthansa in 1926 to manage Brazilian interests. The transatlantic route was upgraded from the Dornier Wal to the Dornier Do-18, four of which entered service with Lufthansa beginning in April 1937. The fifth (and final) Do-18 built for Lufthansa had a longer wing, enabling it to fly with one of the two engines out. This aircraft, D-AANE, carried the mails between September, 1937 and March, 1939, before the Do-18 was taken out of service, the demise of this method of carrying mail.

The label on the cover's reverse is a Customs label: "Foreign Exchange Supervision".

By June 1, 1938, two of the four early versions of the Do-18 had been damaged in ocean landings. So, it seems likely that this cover was carried on the last Do-18 used for transatlantic mail carriage.

Here's D-AANE catapulting off her tender:
Image Not Found
She is distinguised by the flatter angle on the struts to accommodate the longer wing.
The aircraft could be launched with a heavier load of fuel from a catapult than she could take off from the water with. There's a remarkable video of a Do-18 catapult launch here:
http://footage.framepool.com/en/shot/908525970-dornier-do-18-catapult-ship-schwabenland-flying-boat

Can anyone add to this story?
Are their places to find out which particular aircraft served a route on a given flight?

-Paul




Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
BenFranklin1902

Tom in Exton, PA
24 Aug 2018
10:40:40pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Image Not Found

Page one of my US Airmail collection. I'm not really sure if the cover is legitimate airmail usage. The addressee is the famed Alvin Filstrup of the Covel Manufacturing Company. He was a well known stamp collector and a lot of his covers survive. I have a few.

Image Not Found

I just found a picture of the back side of this cover. Note it flew over the 1925 to 1926 New Year!

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Check out my eBay Stuff! Username Turtles-Trading-Post"
Members Picture
Bobstamp

24 Aug 2018
10:56:24pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Cover flown on first airmail flight between Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile, and signed by pilot Jean Mermoz, France's "Charles Lindbergh":

Image Not Found

Detail of receiving postmark:

Image Not Found

The Potez 25 that Mermoz flew:

Image Not Found

Bob

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

www.ephemeraltreasur ...
Members Picture
BenFranklin1902

Tom in Exton, PA
24 Aug 2018
11:02:02pm

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Image Not Found

Image Not Found


And why not a baby zep. Seems the ship flew mighty slow!

Like
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this post

"Check out my eBay Stuff! Username Turtles-Trading-Post"
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51Studebaker

Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
25 Aug 2018
06:58:16am

re: Origins/Demise of Air Mail

Currently the only known genuine first day cover the first US air post stamp.
Image Not Found

Image from Siegel "United States Stamp Treasures: The William H. Gross Collection" Catalog. This cover is estimated at $30,000-$40,000 and probably will go higher. This could easily become the highest price ever paid for a First Day Cover.


For any US collector who has not already gotten this catalog, it is really a 'must read'. The catalog is a great reference work and should be in everyone's library. You can download the free PDF version here
https://siegelauctions.com/sales.php?sale_no=1188

Don

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like this post.
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"Current Score... Don 1 - Cancer 0"

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