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
Right at Home: bringing big style to small outdoor spacesnwitimes.com, May 1st
But for many people, especially city dwellers, the at-home al fresco area is more postage-stamp than palatial. Not a problem, says Katy Kiick Condon, a senior editor at ... Check out West Elm's Mosaic table collection; tiled tops in a variety of...Read more
This week's Open Air question: The USPS just released a Yellowstone stamp. Who ...Casper Star-Tribune Online, May 1st
Courtesy of U.S. Postal Service. A new Forever Stamp to be released this summer features a photo of bison in Yellowstone National Park taken in 2000 by Art Wolfe of Seattle. prev ... what you think the following Sunday. We call it Open Air because it's...Read more
'Speed Day' planned as part of safety initiatives at the lakeCitizens Voice, May 1st
United Way of Wyoming Valley, regional members of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service are gearing up for the Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive on Saturday, May 14. All donations of nonperishable foods...Read more
From the Edinburgh cafe where JK Rowling created Harry Potter to Virginia ...Daily Mail, April 30th
This was Wordsworth's workplace from 1813 to 1843, when he was Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland. Just round the corner, on Lake Road, you'll ... Rankin remains a regular – he pops in to collect his mail. After a glass of something soft and...Read more
Childhood Cancer: heartfelt home treatmentsThe Salinas Californian, April 28th
She opened a folder on it and suddenly postage stamp-size faces stared back at her. They were all children – very sick .... Although Salinas and surrounding areas may have the cleanest air in America, the number of incidences of Acute Lymphoblastic...Read more
Ethel McCoy and other women collectors paved the way in a mostly male hobbyLinn's Stamp News, April 22nd
A recent news story on Linns.com reveals the discovery of one of the two missing 1918 United States Jenny Invert airmail error stamps from the famed McCoy block of four. The McCoy block is named for Ethel Bergstresser (Stewart) McCoy (1893-1980), ...Read more
Rare 'Inverted Jenny' Stamp Turns Up 60 Years After TheftNPR, April 15th
"It was in 1918 that stamp collector William Robey went to the New York Avenue post office in Washington, D.C., to buy a sheet of the first airmail stamps. He paid $24 for 100 stamps and was handed a sheet of stamps that featured the upside-down aircraft...Read more
Bid For An 'Inverted Jenny' at the 'World Stamp Show' at The Javits CenterDNAinfo, April 13th
A high-quality “Inverted Jenny” — one of 100 air mail stamps issued by the United States Postal Service in 1918 that accidentally depicted a “Jenny” airplane upside down — is expected to bring in more than half a million dollars at the World Stamp...Read more