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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Recent News: Airmail Stamps
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Daily Planner: December 6Enterprise-Record, December 5th
Fresh foods, free garden exchange, CNAP (food stamp) EBT accepted. Free stall Weekly. Chico Air Museum: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Chico Municipal Airport adjacent to the tower; 11 aircraft, several airport-type vehicles, indoor museum and gift shop. Free...Read more
Chevron And ALEC Take On The Big, Bad Lesser Prairie ChickenHuffington Post, December 4th
"[The plan] essentially locks the lesser prairie chicken into small, postage-stamp size areas of habitat that are too small to support reproductive populations, and it will effectively preclude their recovery," said Jay Lininger, a senior scientist...Read more
FOX5 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Sweepstakes Official RulesKVVU Las Vegas, December 3rd
form to receive one (1) entry. You may earn one (1) additional entry when you also "Like" the www. Any attempt to obtain more than the above-stated number of entries by using multiple/different Facebook accounts, email addresses, mailing...Read more
Monaco's Grand Bourse 2013 Lives Up To High ExpectationsCoin Update News, December 2nd
The weather in Monte Carlo lived up to its reputation, a sunny day with clear blue skies but, as the festive holidays are almost upon us - even Monaco isn't exempt from seasonal weather conditions, with a slight chill felt in the early day December air...Read more
Monday Must Reads: Obamacare Signups Surge; Supreme Court Okays Online ...East Bay Express, December 2nd
The high court refused to take up an appeal brought by online retailers, including Amazon.com, of a lower-court ruling that concluded that New York State could force online retailers to collect sales taxes. Brick-and-mortar Oakland Mayor Jean Quan...Read more
Black River Stamp Club to host annual show SaturdayChronicle-Telegram, November 22nd
“About five years ago, my father-in-law got my oldest son, Zachary, who's 12, interested in stamp collecting,” Dolata said. “The more I worked with him, the more it Dolata prefers air mail, specifically air mail from 1941 to 1945. Zachary likes...Read more
Harry Potter stamps rile collectorsStuff.co.nz, November 18th
To generate excitement among collectors, the Postal Service recently reissued a new $2 version of a highly publicised stamp error: a 1918 air mail stamp commemorating the country's first airmail flight, a stamp known as the Inverted Jenny. The stamp...Read more
New stamp honors famous postage goofEl Estándar, November 8th
That year, the U.S. Post Office issued the Curtiss Jenny stamp to celebrate the United States' first airmail delivery. If you find a picture of a stamp that's not available at the post office, the Philatelic Society site has lists of stamp dealers...Read more