Aviation Exhibition postcard
The Mansfield [OH] Daily News sponsored an aviation exhibition on June 7-8, 1912, at the local fair grounds. Postmaster General Frank H. Hitchcock had approved the flying of mail between the fair grounds and the post office, and aviator Beckwith Havens was scheduled to carry the mail. Unfortunately, engine trouble doomed the program. On June 7, Havens's plane experienced engine trouble on a preliminary flight and made an emergency landing in a field away from the fair grounds. The following day, he took off from the field, headed for the fair grounds, but engine trouble again forced him down, this time into a ditch, and caused damage to the plane. The program was then completely canceled. Though officials postmarked prepared mail, no mail was flown either day. The postmark bore the words "MANSFIELD, O. / 3 P.M. / Mailed by aeroplane / June 8, '12."
The Mansfield Daily News prepared souvenir cards for the flights. Although many were prepared, only an estimated five to ten survive. As seen in the card shown here, addressed to Miss Cathryn Lorenzan, Mansfield, Ohio, all have the special circular postmark dated June 8 and, in addition, an oval Mansfield cancel, to cancel all stamps.
It remains unknown whether mail was postmarked on June 7 with a special postmark similar to the one used on June 8. All known examples of items prepared to be flown are examples of the Mansfield [OH]Daily News souvenir cards.