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
Source: Google News
Walking New YorkNew York Times, April 22nd
The best can-collecting route in Bushwick. Scroll down ... You see the red tips of buds on wet-seeming black branches just before the haze of green blurs the air. There's a ..... Sometimes the husbands will charge too much and hide the credit bills...Read more
Queen Margrethe of Denmark turns 75Armenpress.am, April 16th
For official parades, Margrethe likes to wrap herself in sweeping robes and brightly colored clothes, and keeps an extensive hat collection. Her sense for beauty has always been well defined, and as a young girl she ... Under the pseudonym Ingahild...Read more
Schlegel: Will stamp collecting endure as snail mail continues to dwindle?NJ.com, April 12th
It was George who wrote the well-reviewed book "The Inverted Jenny: Mystery, Money, Mania", a page-turner detailing the remarkable story of the very first air-mail stamp in 1918, 100 of which became world-sought collectibles because the Curtiss plane...Read more
Biofunctionalized all-polymer photonic lab on a chip with integrated solid ...Nature.com, April 9th
Correspondence: A Llobera, Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona IMB-CNM (CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; C Fernández-Sánchez, Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona IMB-CNM (CSIC), ...Read more
Why is a fish like a bicycle? Pedro Friedeberg's letters to Duncan Fallowell ...Spectator.co.uk, April 8th
At a party given by a Mexican art-collector, I noticed several zany pictures on the wall. 'They're all by Pedro Friedeberg, my favourite ... Mine to Pedro are conventional enough, usually on pale blue onion-skin writing paper, sent in air-mail...Read more
Stamp honors Angelou's 'bold bodacious life,' Winfrey saidWinston-Salem Journal, April 7th
“Being honored and commemorated by the postal service with her own stamp, for the big, bold, bodacious life she dared to live, in a way that dazzled and gave meaning to those of us who knew her and many who didn't.” Angelou, a poet ... 1 at the...Read more
Neil Kinnock invokes Adolf Hitler to smear the ConservativesDaily Mail, March 28th
By Simon Walters Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday. Published: ... and punched the air in anticipation of victory – and voters turned against him. ... If you want a hobby take up fly fishing or stamp collecting, it's less dangerous than voting...Read more
5 reasons your kids should collect stampsThe Columbian, March 28th
Child development experts say the benefits are many; the challenge is to get kids started. Cool stamps aren't arriving in the mailbox much now that ground mail is less common. And few kids know others who are already collecting stamps. So parents and ...Read more