Aeroplane mail post card
As commissioned, Glenn H. Curtiss (1878-1930) built a biplane to fly mail from the deck of the S. S. "Pennsylvania" at sea back to Governors Island in New York Bay, a distance of about fifty miles. The New York World newspaper sponsored this attempt. J.C. (Bud) Mars was to make the flight.
An 85-foot platform had been built on the deck of the Hamburg American liner. About thirty minutes before sailing on November 12, 1910, a decision to start the engine and check that all was ready revealed that a mechanic had left a fueling funnel near the propeller. When the engines started, the funnel was sucked into the propeller, shattering the wooden blade. With no replacement available, the attempt was cancelled, and Mars was unable to complete the task.
Agents sold envelopes on board the Pennsylvania, and this is one of those envelopes. Removed from the ship before sailing, it was postmarked at Hudson Terminal Sta. (Manhattan) on November 12, 8:30 PM. Fewer than five of these envelopes, properly used, exist. Agents returned mail belonging to passengers to them. Mail unidentified as passenger mail was taken off the ship and postmarked on shore, either in lower Manhattan or in Rutherford, New Jersey.
This was a visionary attempt at a very early date to expedite the delivery of mail. It was a predecessor of the trans-Atlantic catapult mail of 1928-1935 that cut significant time in the transport of mail.