Parcel post flight cover
On January 13, 1913, Harry M. Jones carried the nation's first aerial parcel post. He also carried first-class mail. His flight began at Franklin Park Field in Boston, with New Haven, Connecticut, as his destination. Mechanical and weather-related problems plagued him, however, and he did not arrive in New Haven until February 28, having landed in Providence, West Mystic, and Niantic along the route. The Post Office Department had authorized the flight as Route No. 604,003.
Jones collected eight letters in New Haven; he departed there on March 4. He flew as far as Mamaroneck, New York, on March 9, and there he crashed, destroying his Burgiss-Wright biplane. Receiving only minor injuries, he continued the next day by train and subway. He finally delivered the sack, which contained eight letters, parcel post, official correspondence, and perhaps other mail, to New York's postmaster.
The only known items from this flight are the eight letters described above. They have a three-line inscription - "By Via First Aeroplane Parcel Post / Harry M. Jones / Aviator.
Shown here, this cover addressed to Mr. M. H. Corini, Central Valley, New York, bears the pilot's handwritten autograph and his inscription - "By Via First Aeroplane Parcel Post." Officials in New Haven applied the postmark at 2:30 p.m. on February 28, 1913. The wavy-line, American flag killer cancels the 1-cent Balboa stamps, issued for the Panama-Pacific Exposition a month earlier (January 18, 1913).