Cachet art sketch for Foreign Airmail Route #20
This is an original sketch for the cachet used on mail carried on the first flight of Foreign Airmail route 20. The sketch features a float plane. Above the float plane are the words “SEATTLE JUNEAU, U.S. AIR MAIL, ROUTE FAM 20” and "JUNEAU ALASKA” below. The designation “FIRST FLIGHT” appears to the right of the central image. The sketch includes the number 504, which is written in pencil at the top right, and a blue pencil measurement to the right that indicates the final height of the cachet would be 2 3/8 inches. Text printed in pencil at the bottom of the image states “RUBBER STAMP BASE TO BE PARALLEL WITH THIS LINE” and the number 532. The text “DRAWN BY E.C. WALKER” is printed at the bottom right of the sketch.
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 20. Pacific Alaska Airways (PAA) began twice-weekly service on that route on June 20, 1940. PAA used a Sikorsky S-42 flying boat from Seattle, Washington, to Juneau, Alaska. The return flight was delayed from June 21 until June 22 due to bad weather. The airlines began carrying passengers on the route on June 24, 1940.
The sketch was drawn by E. C. Walker on May 10, 1940. The American Air Mail Society designated this cachet as “Type F20c.”
American Air Mail Society, A Priced Catalogue and Reference Listing of the Airposts of the World, American Airmail Catalog, 6th edition. Mineola, New York, Volume 3, 2004.