Cachet art sketch for Foreign Airmail Route 19
This cachet art sketch was drawn for the first flight of Foreign Airmail route 19. The flight, which left San Francisco on July 12, 1940, stopped in Los Angeles and then Honolulu on its way to its final stop at Auckland, New Zealand. The sketch shows a Boeing 314 flying boat leaving San Francisco. The design, by E.L. Hastry, includes the words, “FIRST FLIGHT FAM 19, UNITED STATES AIR MAIL, SOUTH PACIFIC SERVICE, SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA” on the outside of the square design. Inside the design, the artist has added the names of stops along the route—“HONOLULU, CANTON IS., NOUMEA, AUKLAND.” The final width of the art, 2.5 inches, is written in blue pencil at the bottom of the sketch. The date 8-22-39 is printed in the bottom right corner, along with the initials E.L.H.
The Post Office Department designated any contract airmail route flown by a U.S. airline into or from a foreign country as a Foreign Airmail route. This image was used on envelopes carried on the first flight of the new Foreign Airmail route (FAM) number 19. Pan American Airways was the successful bidder on this route, which was the first official airmail link between the U.S. and New Zealand. The airlines named the Boeing 314 flying boat “American Clipper.”