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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
The Stamp Collecting Round-up
National Postal Museum
R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries
Post Office in Paradise
Private Die Proprietary Stamps
Clubs & Associations
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Airmail Stamps
Source: Google News
Oh, the grancy greybeard abounds with beautyAndalusia Star-News, April 18th
Mail to CHS, P.O. Box 1582, Andalusia, Alabama 36420. Include your e-mail address if you wish to be reminded of upcoming meetings. To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War Between ... For those who collect stamps, consider those associated with...Read more
Call-in RulesKSHB, April 18th
PRIZES: The prizes to be awarded may change with each Giveaway and will be generally described on the air prior to announcing which caller will be selected by random answering of the telephone. The approximate retail value of the prizes offered for a...Read more
Outdoors calendar beginning week of April 19Lancaster Newspapers, April 18th
Most species are native to Pennsylvania, and with the exception of black locust, all of the available hardwoods are grown from seed collected from Pennsylvania sources and processed by Game Commission personnel. Two offerings ... If you find a new nest...Read more
My cruel stepmother's abuse cast a long shadow over my childhoodThe Guardian, April 18th
She washed my hair by forcing my head under the bath tap so I couldn't breathe, releasing me only when I choked and spluttered for air. Then a blow-dry; ... I was nine when she stamped into my room, snarling, "If you mess up my things, I'll mess up...Read more
Roxbury Council: Capping landfill seems to be the best optionNew Jersey Hills, April 17th
Residents in the township, meanwhile, have consistently argued that trucking the material out of the landfill is the only way to ensure a permanent solution to concerns over air and water quality,” Rilee said. “While it is difficult ... “The council...Read more
What's happening today in the north valleyEnterprise-Record, April 16th
Fresh foods, free garden exchange, CNAP (food stamp) EBT accepted. ... 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. ... Anthropology: 11 a.m.-3 p...Read more
Would you invest $5000 in a parcel tag?WA today, April 14th
According to the catalogue, "the tag is believed to have paid postage for a 27lb 9oz gold bullion shipment from Melbourne probably to California for refining …". A few minor blemishes affected its total value. ... of people collecting them has...Read more
'Misprinted Stamps Escape Postal Vault'DigitalJournal.com, April 1st
"We are leveraging the incredible story behind the rare collectible as a creative way to generate interest in stamp collecting while highlighting the role the Post Office Department had in developing the commercial aviation industry," said Postmaster...Read more