Wednesday, April 21, 2010

February 1928: Lindbergh Again Flies the Air Mail

Below is one of the more interesting historical postcards I have found.  Not because of the postcard, obviously.  It was a blank slate on both sides.

Before Charles Lindbergh flew his trans-atlantic non-stop solo flight, he was an airmail carrier, and flew the St. Louis - Chicago route.  He did this for a year, and then left to build the Spirit of St. Louis aircraft. After his famous flight the US Post Office convinced him to fly the airmail one more time as a promotional event.  He made flights on February 20 and 21, 1928.  Each piece of mail received the horseshoe stamp seen below, which reads "Lindbergh Again Flies the Air Mail."  There was so much mail, multiple airplanes had to be used, which meant Lindbergh couldn't fly them all.  The Post Office Department assured everyone that Lindbergh at least took each plane for a trip around the airfield, so each piece of mail got flown by him, at least for a short distance.

This postcard was sent to my maternal grandmother, Myrtle Van Every.  She was working in the St. Louis Post Office at the time, in the Money Order section.  I'm not sure who sent it to her.  All I have are the initials LLB.  But the postcard was sent from St. Louis to St. Louis through Chicago "with an extra cent" for it to make the return trip on the train.

The horseshoe stamp isn't a rarity. Estimates at the time indicate there were 200,000 pieces of mail that received the stamp.  There are about a dozen pieces of mail currently on ebay, selling for about $10/apiece. There's no question in my mind this postcard is worth more to me and my family than to anyone else.

1) "Lindbergh Flies His Old Mail Route," New York Times, Feb 21, 1928, pg 13. (Proquest Historical Newspapers)
2) Wikipedia
3) Charles Lindbergh Discussion Center

1 comment:

Stephen Sherman said...

Nice cover, love the horseshoe postmark. You might enjoy this article about the life and famous flight of Charles Lindbergh.