Aviation Exhibition postcard
The Post Office Department authorized mail flights from Athletic Park in Bedford, Indiana, to Oolitic, a distance of four miles, and to Mitchell, a distance of ten miles, on July 3 and July 4, 1912. The POD assigned the route as No. 633,001. On July 3, poor weather prevented flights, so no mail was prepared or flown. On July 4, Max Lillie set-off for Oolitic with a pouch of approximately 1,000 pieces of mail. After flying about half way, high winds forced Lillie to turn back to the park.
Officials used three different markings. Type 1 reads, "AIR SHIP ROUTE NO. 1 / BEDFORD IND JULY 4 1912." Type 2 reads, "AIR SHIP ROUTE NO. 1 / BEDFORD IND." Type 3 is a single-line cachet reading, "AIR SHIP ROUTE NO. 1." The Type 1 cachet, since it contained the date, was also used as the postmark and was applied over the stamp. When the other two cachets were used, a Bedford, Ind. City cancel was also applied. Regardless of the number flown, very few are known today.
The card shown here bears the Type 1 cachet used as a postmark. It is addressed to Helen F. Graham, Bedford, Indiana, from her father. The cachet cancels the 1-cent Washington stamp.