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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For $100000, You Can Clone Your DogBusinessweek, October 22nd
As of this September, though, the lab exists as a collection of architectural drawings and a plot of land selected for optimal feng shui, so Hwang and his surgical team will make do with the temporary facility tucked into a wooded hollow. ... He was...Read more
Open Thread || October 19, 2014White House Dossier, October 19th
I was chatting with a guy who worked for me of Mexican heritage and Tim really upset him when I mentioned that they took Speedie off the air and the reason was because of the town drunks. I will never forget him ranting .... So all these Haitians will...Read more
Wonkbook: What we know about Ebola's air-travel risksWashington Post (blog), October 16th
Welcome to Wonkbook, Wonkblog's morning policy news primer by Puneet Kollipara (@pkollipara). To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism or ideas to Wonkbook at Washpost dot com. To read more by the Wonkblog team, click here...Read more
An Post put their stamp on retro video-games with latest collectionIrish Independent, October 16th
Some of the most iconic video game images over the last few decades feature in the latest Irish postage stamp collection. The four stamps include Bandai's Pac-Man, Namco's Space Invaders and iconic videogame stars Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario...Read more
Hot air balloons and carrier pigeons: how a unique correspondance took place ...Bournemouth Echo, October 15th
“I've always been interested in postal history and stamp collecting,” said Mr Lawrence. “A friend alerted ... On September 23, the first of 67 hot air balloons left Paris carrying post for the outside world, with a letter of Mr Brown's among the mail...Read more
Man licks his hobby addictionRio Rancho Observer, October 11th
NewMexPex stamp collector Larry Reynolds works on his sizeable postage assembly at his home. ... “I'm a worldwide stamp collector,” the 61-year-old Air Force retiree says. “I collect anything and everything.” Although the huge collection was actually...Read more
A sticky businessSydney Morning Herald, October 10th
The voluntary detective work is regularly posted on an internet forum devoted to philately, the collection and study of postage stamps. The resulting conversation has offered an almost unanimous hypothesis: the bulk of forgeries in Australia are the...Read more
At museums this fall: Art and science, civilization and extinctionWashington Post, October 3rd
At National Air and Space Museum. Through July 25, 2015. “Herblock Looks .... An exhibition exploring the relationship between the United States and China through the study of stamps and mail from 1860 to 1980. At National Postal Museum. Through Jan...Read more