Hydro-Aeroplane flight post card
There was a major aviation meet in St. Louis, Missouri, from October 4-7, 1911. Walter Brookins (1889-1953) flew official US airmail each day. On the first day he flew the mail from the meet at Kinloch Field to Fairgrounds Park, a distance of twelve miles. On the next three days, he flew mail only from one end of Kinloch Field to the other.
Aviator Hugh Robinson (1881-1963) was engaged to fly mail in a hydroplane from Kinloch Field, across the Mississippi River, to East St. Louis, Illinois, on the meet's last day. This would have been the first time official US mail was transported by hydroplane. The flight ultimately occurred on the October 8. Robinson's flight, which actually transported very little mail, carried this card. As far as anyone knows, only about ten pieces exist today.
As required by the St. Louis postmaster, agents wrote the inscription "Aerial Mail" on all mail flown during the meet's five days. Publicity for the event stated that two-cent postage must frank all flown mail. That is why this card bears a 2-cent stamp. However, cards also exist franked with a 1-cent stamp, the proper rate.