Arago: Pioneer Period (1783-1918)

Pioneer Period (1783-1918)

Aeroplane mail flight postal card

Scott Catalogue USA: U406, E64
American Air Mail Catalog: 82

The postmasters at Grinnell and Des Moines, Iowa, dispatched mail to Chicago on October 17, 1914, via an aeroplane designed by aviator William G. Robinson and built by Grinnell Aeroplane Company. Robinson made the 390-mile flight from Des Moines to Kentland, Indiana, on October 17, and the next day he embarked on a flight to Chicago, eighty-one miles north. Due to mechanical problems, Robinson did not land at the Cicero Flying Field until the afternoon of October 20. The mail was carried to Cicero's post office and dispatched to addressees.

Mail postmarked in Grinnell on October 17 is known; no mail postmarked in Des Moines is known. Some mail was postmarked when it arrived in Chicago, with a postmark time of 4:30 p.m. All five known pieces are franked for special delivery service and have two cachets: "FORWARDED / VIA AERO-POST" and "BY AEROPLANE / MAIL, OCT. 17."

C. A. Blair, Grinnell, Iowa, addressed this cover to an individual named Himmel, associated with the department store Carson Pirie Scott & Co., Chicago. A handwritten note in blue records that the card arrived at Carson Pirie Scott & Co. at 5 p.m. on October 20. It bears both cachets mentioned above and the 10-cent blue Special Delivery stamp. It also bears a blue cachet - "BY AEROPLANE / MAIL OCT. 17" and a handstamp - "FORWARDED VIA AERO-POST."

October 17, 1914
paper; ink
Museum ID:
Place of Origin:
Chautauqua, New York
Place of Destination:
New Kensington, Pennsylvania
The Benjamin K. Miller Stamp Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

  • 1914 Grinnell-Des Moines, Iowa mail flight stamped envelope
  • 1914 Grinnell to Des Moines, Iowa experimental airplane mail flight cover
Additional Records

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