Inaugurated in the early 20th Century, airmail was a premium service which required paying special postal rates. U.S. airmail stamps document the early history of aviation commerce - from biplanes to Zeppelins to flying boats.
The first airmail stamp - a 24-cent stamp that covered postage from New York to Washington - was issued in May 1918. The stamp pictured the plane that carried the mail – the Curtiss Jenny – and is widely recognized today because a pane of 100 was accidentally printed with the plane upside-down.
On July 1, 1924, regular airmail service across the country was established. Airmail was divided into three zones: New York to Chicago, Chicago to Cheyenne, and Cheyenne to San Francisco. Mailing a letter cost eight cents per zone, so stamps were made in denominations of 8, 16, and 24.
In February of 1926, the Post Office contracted private air companies to distribute airmail. Three stamps were issued for use on these contract airmail routes (or CAMs), each depicting the U.S. map.
Charles Lindbergh’s historical flight in May of 1927 inspired one of the most popular airmail stamps issued, which featured his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis. The cost of airmail was reduced in 1928, and two new stamps were issued: Beacon on Rocky Mountains and the Winged Globe.
Airmail service across the Pacific was taken over by the Post Office Department in November 1935 as the threat of war with Japan increased, and Pan Am was chosen as the carrier. A stamp was issued for the three trans-Pacific zones: San Francisco to Hawaii, Hawaii to Guam, and Guam to the Philippine Islands. It originally cost 25 cents per zone, but in 1937, a 20 cent stamp was issued and the cost of mailing a letter from the mainland U.S. to the Philippine Islands was reduced to 50 cents and airmail was extended to Hong Kong.
Cross-Atlantic airmail began on May 20, 1939 as Pan Am delivered mail from New York to Marseilles, France, traveling through Portugal on the way. Although this service didn't las...
During World War II, seven stamps known as Transports were issued, each with a different denomination and depicting a different twin-motored transport plane.
After World War II, many commemorative stamps were released, such as a stamp to honor the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union in 1949 and another to honor the 50th anniversary of airmail service in 1968. Many commemoratives featuring aviators (such as Amelia Earhart, Robert Goddard, and the Wright brothers) were also released.
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Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool AET (agg 2-1) MATCH REPORT: Branislav Ivanovic ...Daily Mail, January 27th
In real terms, it did not make a whole heap of difference. Liverpool went into extra-time needing to score and, even after Branislav Ivanovic's goal, that remained the requirement. It had been a goal to win, now it was a goal to earn a penalty shoot-out...Read more
Curator's Corner — Errors, freaks and oddities and the world's smallest ...Delphos Herald, January 23rd
EFOs can come in many forms from stamps that are poorly printed to outright mistakes. I have written before about one of the most sought after and expensive EFO, the Inverted Jenny $.24 airmail stamp. A postage stamp error can exist in many different...Read more
Fulton to remember Churchill 50 years after his deathColumbia Missourian, January 23rd
In addition, commemorative coins have been issued by The Royal Mint, as well as stamps by The Royal Mail and a set of personal family mementos will be on display at Chartwell, the family home in Kent. David Cameron, Britain's prime minister, has been ...Read more
DC community calendar, Jan. 22-29, 2015Washington Post, January 21st
Thursday and Friday at 11 a.m., Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. National Air and Space Museum, Flights of Fancy, Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW. 202-633-1000. Free. Poetry lecture A Bagley Wright Lecture Series presentation by National ...Read more
Commentary: One stamp collector's priorityCBS News, January 18th
at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and promote October as National Stamp Collecting Month, the Postal Service dedicated a new $2 version of the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history -- the 24-cent 1918 Curtiss Jenny Inverted airmail stamp...Read more
Why the modern world is bad for your brainThe Guardian, January 18th
So we're not actually keeping a lot of balls in the air like an expert juggler; we're more like a bad amateur plate spinner, frantically switching from one task to another, ignoring the one that is not right in front of us but worried it will come...Read more
COMMUNITY EVENT: Annual stamp show draws hundredsBrantford Expositor, January 11th
Stamp collecting is a pastime defined by individual preference. Many limit their collecting to particular countries, certain time periods or specific subjects, such as birds or aircraft. Some specialize in airmail stamps, others in commemorative...Read more
Oliver Pritchett: I've got Post Office traumatic stress syndromeTelegraph.co.uk, January 8th
There are few traditional British institutions left now. The pub used to be one, with its respected customs, its strange etiquette, its hierarchies and its long-established rules, but these have now disappeared. Happily, tradition still flourishes in...Read more