Aerial Mail postal card
In 1912, aviator Earle Marshall Reid, flying a Wright pusher aircraft, transported mail and passengers nearly twenty miles between Ocean City and Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Reid flew a round trip daily between August 3 and 10, except for Sundays. The first flight was from Ocean City to Stone Harbor, and mail from that flight was backstamped "Stone Harbor 7 P.M." Service between August 12 and September 5 was less frequent.
The Post Office Department authorized the route, No. 609,003, for August 3-10, but due to the service's success, the second assistant postmaster general authorized the service extended until September 5. Authorization was received on August 9.
The mail carried bears somewhat diverse markings. Some mail received a two-line cachet - "OCEAN CITY & STONE HARBOR / AERIAL US MAIL SERVICE." Some pieces of mail bear handwritten inscriptions such as "Via Aeroplane" and "Via Aeroplane Mail." Some pieces were backstamped. Very few pieces of mail got into collectors' hands even though a large number of pieces were flown.
The postal card shown here, addressed to Mr. Philip C. Bangs, Savannah, Georgia, bears the OCEAN CITY & STONE HARBOR / AERIAL US MAIL' cachet in magenta, which cancels the 1-cent Washington indicia.
August 3-10 - Ocean City-Stone Harbor (14,586 pieces flown)
August 3-10 - Stone Harbor-Ocean City (1,059 pieces flown)
August 12- September 5 (Very few pieces have been reported)