Photograph of airmail pilot Eddie Gardner and Muriel Kelly
Eddie Gardner was one of the first four civilian US airmail pilots. He began flying mail for the Post Office Department on August 12, 1918. His time with the service was turbulent and he left in April 1919. Gardner continued flying, spending time barnstorming and racing at air shows and fairs. In August 1920 he won Wisconsin's first Air Derby. He piloted an aircraft supplied by Thomas Hamilton of the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gardner's entry was staked by the Milwaukee Journal, and in return he carried a passenger, Muriel Kelly, a Journal reporter, during the race. Kelly and Gardner posed for this photograph before the race began.
National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection