Aviation Meet postal card
The Milwaukee Journal newspaper sponsored an aerial meet at the State Fair Grounds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 30, 1912. Aviator Farnum T. Fish delivered copies of the newspaper to Waukesha, Oconomowoc, and Watertown on the morning of May 30. Later in the day, Horace Kearney flew a pouch of mail from the fair grounds to West Allis, a distance of less than a mile, where he dropped it to waiting officials. Unfortunately, the pouch became entangled on the plane's underside, and Kearney, unable to dislodge it, then flew back to the fair grounds, landed, and transferred the pouch to Farnum T. Fish, who successfully carried it to West Allis. The pouch held about 600 pieces of mail.
On May 31, several serious accidents occurred when aviators attempted flight in very windy weather. The meet had been canceled prior to the opening that day. Due to poor attendance, officials canceled the June 1 schedule as well.
Mail handled after the May 30 flight was postmarked May 31, as was mail submitted the morning of May 31. When the meet was canceled in the afternoon of May 31, this mail was sent on by ordinary means. Mail deposited in the mail boxes late on May 31 by persons unaware that there would be no more flying that day or the next was postmarked June 1 at the aerial substation and eventually forwarded by ordinary means. Hence, only mail postmarked May 30 was actually flown.
The postal card presented here, addressed to Mrs. Clarendon Bangs, Savannah, Georgia, was carried on the May 30 flight, as shown by its black circular postmark. The postmark also reads, "AEROPLANE STATION / MILWAUKEE, WIS." The four straightline killer bars, in which the words "US MAIL" appear, cancel the 1-cent McKinley indicia. Very few May 30 pieces have survived. No mail postmarked May 31 is known. Only one piece of mail is known from June 1.