THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

December 1928: The International Civil Aeronautics Conference

 

 

US commemoratives honouring this Conference

 

2-Cent stamp showing the Wright Flyer I airplane, in left profile, used by the Wright brothers in their first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on 17 December 1903. Scott #649.

5-Cent stamp showing a Ryan B‑5 Brougham airplane with an outline of the globe in the background.  Scott #650.

On 8 December 1927, President Calvin Coolidge wrote a short note to the Conference of the Aeronautical Industry meeting in Washington, D.C., expressing his interest in having an international conference in Washington the next year. He wanted to honour the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight and to further establish the United States among the world leaders in aviation.

 

Congress appropriated funds, and the State Department issued an international call for papers to those countries with which the United States had diplomatic relations. However, the Commerce Department assumed oversight of the conference during its presence in Washington. Herbert Hoover, then-Secretary of Commerce, was an avid stamp collector. On 12 December 1928, President Coolidge welcomed aviation leaders and representatives gathered to exchange information and honour aeronautical achievements, especially those of the guest of honour, Orville Wright (Wilbur had died in 1912) at the opening of the International Civil Aeronautics Conference held in Washington, D.C. between 12 and 14 December 1928,

 

Delegate’s card. The vignette on the card is the same as on the 2-cent stamp.

Courtesy National Archives.

The purpose of the Conference was to consider the strides made throughout the world in the science and practice of civil aeronautics since the first power-driven flight, and to discuss ways and means of further developing it for the benefit of mankind. It provided an opportunity for an exchange of views upon problems pertaining to aircraft in international commerce and trade, and suitably commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first flight of the Wright brothers. It also streamlined the way international airmail was prepaid and handled; before that, rules for prepaying international airmail depended on country-to-country treaties. Orville Wright was the honorary guest (Wilbur had died in 1912); Charles Lindbergh was also present. A total of 77 official and 39 unofficial delegates from 50 foreign countries attended, in addition to the 12 official American delegates, 43 technical representatives, 238 representatives, and 32 committee members, for a total official attendance of 441. Many of the countries they represented were still occupied. Delegates participated in meetings, conferences, lectures, discussions, and a general exchange of aeronautic ideas, as well as official and unofficial dinners, banquets, entertainments and sightseeing tours.

 

Among the delegates were notables such as Orville Wright, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Igor I. Sikorsky, Senator Hiram Bingham, Giovanni B. Caproni and Lady Mary Heath. Both Heath and Caproni were later honoured with their own postage stamps in their native countries commemorating their achievements in aviation history.

 

Attendees to the Conference were also invited to the International Aeronautical Exhibition/Exposition held in Chicago the week before the conference, from 1 to 9 December 1928, under the auspices of Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America. The show featured American aircraft and technology, including nearly every American airplane in production, motors and accessories, special exhibits, and displays of foreign aircraft as well.

 

 

Cover sent from the International Aeronautical Exposition.

Held in Chicago from 1 to 9 December 1928.

Postmark dated 8 December 1928.

International Aeronautical Exposition - Cut from cover (Varney Airgram)

 

 

Legendary New Jersey stamp dealer-publisher-cachet maker Albert C. Roessler (1883-1952) added his own tribute to the Wright brothers by privately overprinting KITTY HAWK with N.C. inside a circle. He overprinted the stamps as a sales gimmick soon after they were issued.

The International Civil Aeronautics Conference of 1928 was the first significant national recognition of the Wright brothers' achievement of powered manned flight. Since Orville and Wilbur Wright's historic flight a quarter-century earlier, powered flight had come a long way. Airplanes were now accepted as part of the fabric of modern life. They had proved their military value in the First World War and were increasingly finding roles in the civilian world, such as airmail service. The conference was held at the Chamber of Commerce Building, across Lafayette Park from the White House. Then president, Calvin Coolidge opened the gala proceedings with a laudatory speech from the White House, which highlighted the advances in aviation from 1903 to 1928, including the airplane as a method of mail delivery and military defence. On the opening day, the Clifford B. Harmon (a wealthy sportsman and aviator) trophy was presented to Charles Lindbergh.

 

Each day was devoted to a different topic: 12 December, international air transport; 13 December, airway development, including meteorology and communications; 14 December, foreign trade in aircraft and engines. Selected papers of special interest were read in the morning plenary sessions and, along with the other papers, formed the topics for discussion in the afternoon sub-sessions. General topics included air transportation, airway development, aeronautical research, aerial photography, aero propaganda (or, more correctly, public relations), trade in aircraft and engines, and private flying and competitions. Following the conference, the delegates travelled together to different sites, including the Wright Air Field in Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright Brothers were born, and even to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to attend ceremonies on the site exactly twenty-five years after the Wrights' historic flight which changed the course of aviation history.

 

No international agreements or conventions were produced by the conference, as none were intended. Its most lasting legacies may well be the two U.S. postage stamps issued to commemorate such a monumental event at the time. In the end, State Department officials may have correctly categorized it as "nothing but a celebration". Perhaps so, but it was still a fitting way to recognize the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day "America gave wings to the world" (as indicated on one of the commemorative covers).

 

The effects of the Depression muted the long-term impact of the International Civil Aeronautics Conference in establishing the United States as the world leader in civil aviation. While the period of the 1920s and 1930s is characterized as "Aviation's Golden Age", the aviation industry faced daunting challenges over these two decades.

 

The First Day Covers bear the conference first-day logo in green and a Washington, D.C., DEC. 12, 1928 circular date stamp. However, postmark dates range from 12 to 14 December 1928. More information on the stamp issue can be found by clicking on: USA - 1928 - International Conference on Civil Aeronautics.

 

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum website offers several virtual exhibitions available worldwide. One of these is titled “The 1928 International Civil Aeronautics Conference Stamps – The Unintended Legacy of a Forgotten Conference”, created by Calvin Mitchell. To prepare the web pages for this exhibition, the author consulted much material listed in the “References and Acknowledgments” subpage; among these, is this web page of the Postal History of ICAO.

Calvin Mitchell has been a philatelist for 60 years and specializes in collecting stamps, postal history and first day covers. He was the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s Assistant Curator of Philately.

The following picture is an excerpt from the website (Photo Credit: Smithsonian Postal Museum). The image is an official photograph of the airplane used by the Wright Brothers during their successful flight of 1903. This photograph was the source of the design on the 2-cent stamp.

See at the following links: https://postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibition/the-1928-international-civil-aeronautics-conference-stamps and

https://postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibition/the-1928-international-civil-aeronautics-conference-stamps/references-and-acknowledgments.

 

 

International Civil Aeronautics Conference of Washington programs in English and French with the 2 stamps issued for the Conference, both addressed to Washington, DC, signed by Kitty Hawk postmaster Elijah W. Baum, cacheted for the 25th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ flight.

Siderographer’s initials in the lower-left margin of the 2-cent block: C.V. De B. (Clyde Volchester De Binder).

 

First Day Cover by A.C. Roessler, Cachetmaker.

Albert C. Roessler (1883-1952) was a stamp dealer who was best known for his cacheted covers, and examples of his work are sought by collectors. Within a few years he was established as a stamp dealer in east Orange, N.J., after a period of Nassau Street (New York) activity. With the coming of air mail in the US in 1918, Roessler began the creation of cacheted covers. Roessler is known for his unique border graphics, original artwork, and rubber-stamped cachets used for both FDC and first flight covers.

 

 

First Day Cover (front and back): A.C. Roessler (New Jersey stamp dealer-publisher-cachet maker) cachet depicting the Wright Brothers plane at Fort Myers, VA, USA

 

The above cover was approved by the U.S. Post Office Department, based on a design produced by Ben Dahlke.

See below for more information related to Ben Dahlke (Excerpts from the Buffalo Courier-Express (New York).

 

 

First Day Cover: A.C. Roessler (New Jersey stamp dealer-publisher-cachet maker) cachet depicting the Wright Brothers plane at Fort Myers, VA, USA. Special FIRST DAY and AIR MAIL hand-stamps.

 

First Day Cover: A.C. Roessler (New Jersey stamp dealer-publisher-cachet maker) cachet depicting the Wright Brothers plane at Fort Myers, VA, USA

 

 

First Day Cover: A.C. Roessler cachet depicting the Wright Brothers plane at Fort Myers, VA, USA.

Airmail cover (front and back)

 

 

USA 1928 Two Roessler cacheted first day cards with blocks of four stamps of the International Civil Aeronautics Conference issue. Kitty Hawk North Carolina to East Orange Newark. 25th Anniversary of Wright Brothers first flight.

 

 

Postcard (front and back) showing the Wright Brothers’ shop and the monument erected in front of it.

The back of the postcard provides the text engraved on it and historical notes the birth of the plane.

 

 

Herbert H. Griffin First Day Cover (recto and verso). The cachet shows a picture of the Flyer I taking off in 1903.

Herbert H. Griffin was well known in the FDC circles as cachet maker.

 

 

 

Official First Day Covers: Dominic A. Brosnan cachet. Dominic A. Brosnan, owner of Old Stamp Exchange at 62 Pemberton Square, Boston, MA, manufactured FDC Cachets from 1928 to 1930. The first Brosnan Cachet was based on the issue for the International Civil Aeronautics Conference.

 

 

 

First Day Cover: Dominic A. Brosnan cachet – The 5-cent denomination US airmail stamp shown above (Air beacon, Sherman Hill and Rocky Mountains) was issued 25 July 1928 to meet the new airmail letter postage rate; effective 1 August 1928, the rate was reduced to 5 cents per ounce.

 

 

 

First Day Covers: Milton T. Mauck cachet. He was a pioneer FDC (First Day Cover) and FFC (First Flight Cover) servicer and cachet maker operating during the 1920s at 911 Harlem Ave, Baltimore,

MD, at least as early as 18 May 1925; later he moved to New Jersey. A contemporary of

Roessler, Mauck closely followed Roessler’s early adoption of cachets for commemorative issues, but a step or two behind the innovative Roessler. Picture of an airplane personally drawn by Mauck.

Note that on the green cachet, picture and text are reduced in size.

 

First Day Cover on a Michael Sanders cachet serviced by H. F. Colman, typewriter-addressed in Colman's distinctive addressing style to Mr. H. A. Robinette of Washington, DC.

 

 

First Day Cover: Green cachet (with Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis) by A. E. G., Albert E. Gorham, Secretary of the Washington Philatelic Society. This cover is properly cancelled with a Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, hand cancel dated 17 December 1928. Born in 1871, Albert E. Gorham of Washington, D.C., was one of the most prolific FDC Cachet makers and Servicers of the 1920s, honoured by election as President of the Society for Philatelic Americans in 1931.

 

 

The above cachet also exists in red.

 

First Day Cover: Green cachet (with Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis) by A. E. G., Albert E. Gorham.

 Following text in black: FIRST DAY ISSUE – A. E. G. – Green Washington cancellation related to the 2nd day of the Conference (13 December 1928). Herbert H. Griffin was well known in the FDC circles as cachet maker.

 

A. E. G., Albert E. Gorham Cover Cancel on the U.S.S. Oklahama.

The U.S.S. Oklahama was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation for the United States Navy, notable for being the first American class of oil-burning dreadnoughts. Commissioned in 1916, the ship served in World War I as a part of Battleship Division Six, protecting Allied convoys on their way across the Atlantic. After the war, she served in both the United States Battle Fleet and Scouting Fleet. Oklahoma was modernized between 1927 and 1929. In 1936, she rescued American citizens and refugees from the Spanish Civil War. On returning to the West Coast in August of the same year, Oklahoma spent the rest of her service in the Pacific. On 7 December 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, several torpedoes from torpedo bombers hit the Oklahoma's hull and the ship capsized. A total of 429 crew died.

 

 

Last Day of Issue (14 December 1928). The lower cover shows the 5-cent stamp with VIA AIRMAIL added. Bradie Buchanan Cachet (in red and blue, with Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis). Best known for generic or general-purpose cachets, Bradie Buchanan produced FDC Cachets in East Liverpool, OH from 1927 to 1960.

 

 

First Day Covers – Black and green cachets.

 

 

First Day Cover with oval cancels at Washington, D.C. Cachet by E.F. Miller?

 

 

 

First Day Air Mail Covers with both stamps of this issue (combo) with black and red strips.

Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis.

 

 

 

 

Air Mail Cover with blue and red strips – First Day Cancel: 12 December 1928.

 

Air Mail Cover with blue and red strips - Third (and Last) Day Cancel: 14 December 1928.

Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis

 

 

Last Day Air Mail Cover franked with 5-cent blue stamp (front and back). Black and red strips.

 

 

First Day Air Mail Cover franked with 5-cent blue stamp (front and back). Black and red strips with AIR MAIL.

 

 

First Day Air Mail Cover franked with both stamps of this issue (combo) (front and back).

Black and red strips with AIR MAIL.

 

Second Day of Cancel (13 December 1928)

 

Last Day of Issue (14 December 1928).

 

Air Mail Cover – First Day Cancel: 12 December 1928.

 

First Day Cover franked with 5-cent blue stamp.

The hand design of cachet shows a biplane close to the Nieuport 28 C.1, although the shape of the drift looks different. The drift seems to wear French colours.

Without the time or infrastructure in the United States to equip units to send overseas using aircraft designed and built in the U.S., the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) Air Service acquired Allied aircraft designs already in service with the French and British air services. On 30 August 1917, the American and French governments agreed to a contract for the purchase of 1,500 Breguet 14 B.2 bombers-reconnaissance planes, 2,000 SPAD XIII, and 1,500 Nieuport 28 pursuits for delivery by 1 July 1918.

 

 

In August 1923, the US Post Office released a stamp featuring the Airco biplane being used for airmail service.

First Day Cover – The cachet shows an Airco (designed by Geoffrey de Havilland) D.H.4 aircraft adopted by the US Post Office to carry airmail. In 1919, the DH-4B was standardized by the US Post Office, being modified to be flown from the rear cockpit with a 180 kg watertight mail compartment replacing the forward cockpit. The airmail DH-4B aircraft were later modified with revised landing gear and an enlarged rudder. DH-4s were used to establish a coast-to-coast, transcontinental airmail service, between San Francisco and New York, a distance of 4,310 km, involving night flight, the first services starting on 21 August 1924. The DH-4 continued in Post Office service until 1927, when the last airmail routes were passed to private contractors.

 

Granite boulder: On 17 December 1928, 200 delegates from the conference, Orville Wright and other members of the Wright family and friends and a few thousand visitors made a pilgrimage to Kill Devil Hill, where a granite marker was dedicated. It was carved to resemble a bronze boulder and carried a bronze tablet with the following inscription: THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT OF AN AIRPLANE MADE FROM THIS SPOT BY ORVILLE WRIGHT DECEMBER 17, 1903 IN A MACHINE DESIGNED AND BUILT BY WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT. THIS TABLET WAS ERECTED BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTIC ASSOCIATION OF THE USA DECEMBER 17, 1928 TO COMMEMORATE THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THIS EVENT. Measuring approximately six feet by four feet, the marker had cost $2,500. It was placed at the top of a small mound facing Kill Devil Hill. Determining the exact location was difficult, because of the dunes and hills had shifted since the Wright Brothers’ 1903 flight.

 

 

 

First Day Covers - On the left side: Picture showing Orville Wright, President of the Aeronautics Association, Senator Hiram Bingham, Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis, Amelia Earhart, Igor Sikorsky, Giovanni Battista Caproni (Italian aircraft manufacturer) at Kitty Hawk on 17 December 1928.

 

 

Picture of the delegates to the International Civil Aeronautics Conference.

On the afternoon of 17 December 1928, the Delegates to the ICAC arrived at the Kill Devil Hills (at Kitty Hawk, N.C., USA) memorial site, twenty-five years after the Wrights' historic flight. At two o'clock, Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis laid the cornerstone of the planned national monument at the top of the dune. Senator Hiram Bingham, president of the National Aeronautical Association, spoke and unveiled an inscribed ten-ton granite boulder to mark the site. The delegates' final arrival in Washington, D.C., from Kitty Hawk marked the last official activity related to the conference.

The picture of the aviation pioneer’s group was taken at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (Virginia, USA), established in 1917 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and named for aviation pioneer Samuel Pierpont Langley.

 

First Day Cover with cancel dated 17 December 1949, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Wright’s feat.

Picture showing Orville Wright, President of the Aeronautics Association, and Amelia Earhart. The second picture shows the Kitty Hawk Marker from where Orville Wright took off on 17 December 1903 in a machine designed and built by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

 

 

First Day Cover with cancel on 17 December 1949, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the

Wright’s feat - Picture showing Orville Wright, President of the Aeronautics Association, Amelia Earhart, and Senator Hiram Bingham, Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis, pictured in front of the Kitty Hawk Marker unveiled during the International Civil Aeronautics Conference in 1928.

 

Last day cover with cancel on 14 December 1928. The text is self-explaining.

 

First Day Cover with cancel dated 23 June 1988, commemorating the 85th anniversary of the Wright’s feat and the unveiling of the bronze tablet at Kitty Hawk in 1928. The stamp shows a picture of Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972) and the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 helicopter prototype built in 1939 (the first viable American helicopter, which pioneered the rotor configuration used by most helicopters today).

On the left side of the cover: Picture showing Orville Wright, President of the Aeronautics Association, Senator Hiram Bingham, Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis, Amelia Earhart, Igor Sikorsky, Giovanni Battista Caproni (Italian aircraft manufacturer) at Kitty Hawk on 17 December 1928.

 

 

 

 

First Day Cover commemorating the International Civil Aeronautics Conference.

Cachet is a one-of-a-kind add-on by Jerry's Covers and shows the US Delegation to the International Civil Aeronautics Conference; see the original picture below the first day cover.

Sitting left to right: Nelson T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State; Edward P. Warner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Wm. F. Whiting, Secretary of Commerce; P. MacCracken, Assistant Secretary of Commerce; Harry F. Guggenheim, president of Guggenheim Fund for promotion of aeronautics. Standing left to right: Lester D. Gardner, president Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce; Joseph S. Ames, Chairman, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics; and W.I. Glover, Assistant Postmaster General.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commemorative covers (17 December 1928 cancel) personally signed by Capt. Benjamin B. Lipsner, America's first Air Mail Superintendent in 1918, members and guests of the International Civil Aeronautics Conference, who accompanied Orville Wright from Washington, D.C. to Kill Devil Hill, N.C. The printed cachet at left and rubberstamped cachet in the centre commemorate the 25th Silver Anniversary of the "First Flight by the Wright Brothers".

The front is printed in three inks: blue for the leftmost cachet and address, silver for the shading in the cachet and strips at the top and bottom outlining airplanes, and green (or orange) for the allegory of flight. The cachet at left bears a tribute to the Wright Brothers by Captain B.B. Lipsner. There is also a black hand stamp at the front centre that reads: “Twenty-Fifth Anniversary First Flight made by the Wright Bros. at Kitty Hawk, N.C., Dec. 17, 1903”.

Beyond the attractiveness of this cover below, is the content of the cachet: two columns made up of the names of flight and airplane pioneers. Over half of them have been honoured on stamps issued by the United States or other nations for their contributions to the development of aeronautics.

On the back is a green hand stamp that reads: “This is to certify as a member and guest of the International Civil Aeronautics Conference, called by President Calvin Coolidge, to mark the first quarter-century of human flight, I accompanied Hon. Orville Wright from Washington, D.C., to Kill Devil Hill, N.C. On the entire pilgrimage, I carried this cover and finally mailed it personally at the place and on the date as postmarked. (Signed) B.B. Lispner.”

 

Insert of the above covers. Captain Lipsner tells about the event.

 

Cover commemorating the 20th anniversary of the new world record for distance and duration won by Wilbur Wright in 1908, receiving the first Michelin Trophy and other valuable prizes. This epochal achievement marked the birth of aerial transportation. Note the similarities of this cover with preceding covers.

The International Michelin Trophy was a prize given over eight years by Michelin et Cie, the French tire company, to the Aéro-Club de France, to award on behalf of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The winner would be the pilot who by sunset, 31 December of each year, held the record which had been established by the Aéro-Club.

 

 

First day airmail cover (front and back) sent by Conference attendee Benjamin Lipsner, a retired army captain and pivotal figure in early U.S. airmail. His Delegate’s number was 265.

 

First Day Cover with hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Ben Kraft.

One-of-a-kind item. Orville Wright at the commands of the Flyer.

 

First Day Cover with hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Ben Kraft.

One-of-a-kind item. The cachet depicts the Ryan B‑5 Brougham airplane.

Although both stamps in this series feature airplanes, they were regular postage stamps, not airmail stamps. But since 5-cent was the then airmail postage rate, the higher value was often used for airmail by using an approved airmail envelope or by adding the legend Via Air Mail.

 

 

 

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4  

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Covers with hand-drawn and hand-painted cachets by Jack Follows. One-of-a-kind covers.

On this totally awesome pairs of masterfully hand-drawn and lavishing hand-painted cachets, Jack Follows reminds us of the early days of air travel with his depiction of different vintage aircraft, single-wing and double-wing varieties, as they soar in the bountiful sky, which is punctuated with cotton-white clouds.

The add-on cachets by Englishman, Jack Follows (1927-1997) are very popular with collectors. They do not appear in the marketplace very often. Follows was known for his cartoonlike cachets which combined the themes of women, aviation, and comic characters. Each cachet was unique in design.

Several of these covers were sent to Joe Skarda. Joseph William Skarda (1906-1991) lived at Rahway, Union County, New Jersey.

 

Cover No. 1 shows two single-seat monoplanes; the upper one has wired-braced wings and an open cockpit; whereas the lower one resembles the Spirit of St. Louis of Charles Lindbergh.

Cover No. 2 shows two French double-wing aircraft; the lower one is a French SPAD S.XIII biplane fighter aircraft of World War I.

Cover No. 3: Follows depicts his view of air travel in the early days with this imaginary aircraft in the form of a submarine, soaring in the bountiful sky punctuated with cotton-white clouds and set against turquoise-coloured skies.

Cover No. 4 refers to a low-wing Junkers F13 aircraft used by US mail. Developed in Germany at the end of World War I, this aircraft was an advanced cantilever-wing monoplane, with enclosed accommodation for four passengers and was used by the United States Post Office Department in the early 1920s. The aircraft soars in the bountiful sky, which is punctuated with cotton-white clouds and set against turquoise-coloured skies.

Cover No. 5 shows a vintage double-engine, eye-propeller aircraft (unequal-span biplane) zooming over exotic island waters, while being shadowed by its silhouetted counterpart overhead.

Cover No. 6 reminds us of the early days of air travel with his depiction of the Pride of Detroit aircraft, which is a philatelic shout-out to the ace aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was born in Detroit and who, a year earlier, in 1927, made the world’s very first, non-stop transatlantic flight when he took off from New York City and landed in Paris, France, a formerly unheard of distance of 3,600 miles which he covered in 33 hours.

On the Stinson SM-1 NC857 Detroiter Monoplane, The Pride of Detroit, William S. Brock and Detroit businessman Edward F. Schlee tried to fly this airplane around the world in 1927. Starting from Harbour Grace, Canada, they flew east for 12,295 miles; but at Tokyo, Japan, a typhoon convinced them to end the attempt.

Cover No. 7 depicts a double engine, double wing, double tail vintage aircraft, as it zooms through a peaceful sky, punctuated with pillow-y clouds. A twin tail is a specific type of vertical stabilizer arrangement found on the empennage of some aircraft. Two vertical stabilizers are mounted on the outside of the aircraft's horizontal stabilizer. This arrangement is also known as an H-tail, as it resembles a capital H when viewed from rear.

Cover No. 8: Follows casts his philatelic spotlights on the single-engine, single-wing vintage plane, as it approaches land, accented by a pretty woman who is taking a leisurely walk nearby and is, no doubt, awaiting the arrival of the lone pilot aboard. Follows' stellar artistry is accented all the more by the red, while, and blue diagonal strips which border this piece of official USPS postal stationery.

 

 

First Day Cover (5-cent) – One-of-a-kind item – Hand-drawn and hand painted by Cachetmaker DeWitt.

Showing one of the Wright Brothers tuning up his aircraft by the side of a river, the cachet seems to refer to the Wright Model CH. The Wright Brothers produced this hydroplane in early 1913. It was a Model C equipped for taking off and landing on water. Originally,it used two twin pontoons affixed to the skid supports, but this made the aircraft difficult to turn; the Wrights switched to one large pontoon under the centre and small ones under each wingtip and tail. The cachet seems to be a reworking of a picture showing the Model C on water.

As cachet maker, DeWitt made so few covers and did not stay in the hobby long enough to get a reputation.

 

 

First Day Covers – One-of-a-kind item – Hand-drawn and hand painted by Cachetmaker Joan Willen Cohen (JWC).

 

First Day Cover with 5-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Kenneth D. Kribbs.

Artist identifies his covers by Kribbs’ Kover.

 

First Day Cover with 5-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Herbert Meisels.

The cachet shows the Spirit of St. Louis registered NX211, that was flown by Charles Lindbergh on 20-21 May 1927, on the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from Long Island, New York, to Paris, France, for which Lindbergh won the $25,000 Orteig Prize. The Orteig Prize was a reward offered to the first Allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice versa.

Herbert Meisels (1925-2016) and Henry Otto Meisel (1900-1966) are different Cachet makers, but are not related. Henry Otto Meisel was also a dealer of "Indian" motorcycles.

 

First Day Cover with 2-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Herbert Meisels.

Wright Brothers Flyer I.

 

Cover with 5-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Herbert Meisels. Wright Brothers Flyer I.

 

 

First Day Cover with 2-cent stamp by Herbert Meisels. Picture of 1920 De Havilland DH-4B biplane (see colour picture).

The Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco, de Havilland) DH.4 was a British two-seat biplane day bomber of the First World War. It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland (hence "DH") for Airco, and was the first British two-seat light day bomber to have an effective defensive armament. The DH-4 performed its first flight in August 1916; less than a year later, it entered operational service in France on 6 March 1917. The majority of DH-4s were actually manufactured as general-purpose two-seaters in the United States, the majority of which were intended to be used in service with the American expeditionary forces being deployed to fight in France. Named the "Liberty Plane" (due to its Liberty Engine), the DH-4 was chosen by the United States Army for its simplicity and potential for mass production.

Cooperation between the US Army and the Post Office Department was essential during the infancy of the Airmail Service; the Post Office Department not only bought planes built by the Army, it also employed Army fighter pilots to run the first airmail routes and test out new planes. The Postal Service acquired 100 of them from the army in 1918, and retrofitted them to make them safer, denominating them as the DH-4B. In 1919, the DH-4B was standardized by the US Post Office, being modified to be flown from the rear cockpit with a 400 lb (180 kg) watertight mail compartment replacing the forward cockpit.

By 1921, pilots were assigned an individual plane on the DH-4B, hence the 253 number seen on the plane. On 21 August 1924, a transcontinental night and day route between San Francisco and New York was established on an experimental basis, involving night flight and using light beacons to guide open-cockpit planes at night. The DH-4B continued in Post Office service until August 1927, when the last airmail routes were passed to private contractors.

 

First Day Cover with 2-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Herbert Meisels. Farman F.60 Goliath.

The Farman F.60 Goliath was the first French civil transport aircraft. Derived from the F.50 bomber, which became useless with the end of hostilities, the F.60 inaugurated in 1919 the first airline link from Paris to London, then Brussels and Casablanca non-stop. The following year, it was used by many airline companies.

 

First Day Cover with 2-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Herbert Meisels. Spad S.XIII biplane.

The SPAD S.XIII was a French biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War, developed by Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) from the earlier and highly successful SPAD S.VII. By the end of the First World War, the S.XIII had equipped virtually every fighter squadron of the Aéronautique Militaire. In addition, the United States Army Air Service also procured the type in bulk during the conflict, and some replaced or supplemented S.VIIs in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC),

 

 

First Day Covers with 2-cent and 5-cent stamps by Herbert Meisels. 

Cachet at the left side: a reproduction of the stamps is affixed and highlighted by a brown frame.

 

First Day Cover with 2-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Beverly Gregory.

Farman MF.11 biplane.

The Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn is a French aircraft developed before World War I by the Farman Aviation Works. It was used as a reconnaissance and light bomber during the early part of World War I, later being relegated to training duties.

 

First Day Cover with 5-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Beverly Gregory.

 

First Day Cover hand-drawn and hand-painted stamp by Beverly Gregory, with the 2-cent stamp.

The cahet shows the Flyer I flown by the Wright Brothers in 1903.

 

First Day Cover hand-drawn and hand-painted stamp by Beverly Gregory, with the 2-cent stamp.

The cachet shows a desing of the Wright Brothers and their Flyer I. The text on tis picture reads as follows: “FIRST FREE CONTROLLED AND SUSTAINED (?) POWERED FLIGHT BY …”; some words are illisible.

 

First Day Cover with 5-cent stamp. Hand-drawn and hand-painted cachet by Beverly Gregory.

Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis (formally the Ryan NYP, registration: NX211). Charles Lindbergh was the winner of the Orteig Prize for making a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. Lindbergh covered the ​33½-hour, 3,600-statute mile (5,800 km) flight alone in a single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis. This was the first solo transatlantic flight.

 

First Day Cover with the 2-cent stamp. 

Cachet at the bottom: a reproduction of the stamp is affixed and highlighted by a black and red frame.

 

 

Last Day Cover with the 5-cent airmail stamp. The cachet at the left side shows a SPAD S.XIII-C1 fighter (identified by S4523 PU.146 PC160 on the tail).

SPAD S.XIII of the 94th Fighter Squadron was flown in France by WW1 top ace US Captain Edward (Eddie) Rickenbacker. The 94th Squadron was part of the 1st Fighter Group, which was part of the American Expeditionary Force in France. Rickenbacker chose this aircraft in July 1918 at Orly when returning to his unit from the hospital. The emblem of the 94th squadron is depicted on the side of the fuselage with a hat cylinder in the colours of the US flag in a red circle. Note: this aircraft was intended for the squadron commander, but Rickenbacker claimed it for himself.

The SPAD S.XIII is a French biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War, developed by Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) from the earlier and highly successful SPAD S.VII. During early 1917, the French designer Louis Béchereau, spurred by the approaching obsolescence of the S.VII, decided to develop two new fighter aircraft, the S.XII and the S.XIII, both using a powerful new geared version of the successful Hispano-Suiza 8A engine.

 

 

First Day Covers with the 2-cent stamp. Cachet by W.C. Sheppard. Picture of the Spirit of St. Louis NX211.

Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis (formally the Ryan NYP, registration: NX211). Charles Lindbergh was the winner of the Orteig Prize for making a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. Lindbergh covered the ​33½-hour, 3,600-statute mile (5,800 km) flight alone in a single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis. This was the first solo transatlantic flight.

 

First Day Cover on the stationery specially prepared by the Department of Commerce for this Conference, which was held in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Building. Two blocks of four stamps, one with the marginal inscription.

 

Registered cover on stationery from the Post Office Department (Division of stamps).

Postmark at Washington on 12 December 1928.

 

Cover sent from the Special Post Office opened in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Building.

Postmark dated 14 December 1928 (last day of issue). In those days, the establishment of a temporary post office station at a non-postal facility was unusual, thus reflecting the level of interest provided to this event by senior management.

 

Last Day Cover (12 December 1928) sent from the House of Representatives to the Delegate in Congress from Hawaii V.S.K. Houston. Hawaii was then a possession.

 

First Day Cover on stationery from the Aero Philatelic Society in Chicago.

 

First Day Cover - Eagle and Shield Cachet.

 

First Day Cover - H.W. Bodley cover. Santa Claus picture at the lower left.

 

First Day Cover - Benjamin Franklin stationery.

 

First Day of Issue (12 December 1928). Block of four 5-cent stamps - Special registered red hand-stamp.

 

Second Day of Issue (13 December 1928).

 

 

 

 

Front and back covers with CDS (Circular Date Stamp) special cancel on 12 December 1928.

The airmail cover was produced by Albert Charles Roessler, who was both a stamp and coin collector and dealer.

 

 

First Day Cover - Special design for airmail use approved by the Post Office Department (POD).

 

 

First Day Cover - Special cover for airmail use as approved by the U.S. Post Office Department.

 

 

Bradie Buchanan First Day Cover (recto and verso).

Silhouettes of George Washington, first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797, and of Colonel Charles Augustus Lindberg, well known for the first nonstop flight from New York City to Paris on 20-21 May 1927.

 

First Day Cover sent to Howard M. Weaver (1879-1962). He was a clerk in the Waynesboro post-office and one of Waynesboro’s first rural mail carriers delivering mail to the rural communities in the early days.

 

 

First Day Cover sent from the Powhatan Hotel located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

The Powhatan Hotel, built in 1911, was an interesting example of early 19th century hotel architecture.

The building's roof garden was a popular dining and dancing spot for many years.

Notice the particular silhouette of the aircraft at the left side.

 

Historic postal cover with 1928 combo stamp. First Day Cover on stationery of W.W. Betts, Stamp Dealer in Clearfield.

 

First Day Cover with the two stamps of the issue.

 

First Day Cover sent from the US Chamber of Commerce (C. of C.) Building in Washington, D.C.

 

First Day Cover sent from Washington with the 2 stamps of the issue, addressed to FDC pioneer Adam Bert on his unique size envelope.

 

Adam K. Bert (1905–2007), of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, was a stamp collector and dealer, who operated his stamp business in Pittsburgh.

 

Historic postal cover with 1928 5c stamp postmarked Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Dec 17 1928, with special rubberstamped pictorial cachet commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight.

 

Back of the above cover with red imprint for the 25th anniversary of the first aeroplane flight.

 

 

1928 Roessler - Wright Brothers 25th Anniversary First Flight Card (Front and Back).

 

 

 

Cover postmarked in Kitty Hawk, N.C., on 17 December 1928 for the Wright Brothers 25th anniversary first flight celebration. Cachet says "Twenty-fifth anniversary first flight made by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, N.C., Dec. 17, 1903”. It was a gift sent to stamp collectors from long-time dealer H. E. Harris & Co., Boston, Mass.; it includes two enclosures (see here below), providing an interesting example of a combo Christmas, special event and advertising cover.

 

Historic postal cover with 1928 5c stamp postmarked Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 17 December 1928, with special rubberstamped pictorial cachet commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight, nicely signed in ink at the upper left by Orville Wright.

 

First Day Cover with cancel on 17 December 1933, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Wright’s feat.

Picture showing Wright’s Flyer I.

 

 

First Day Covers – Webcraft add-on cachet (applied in 2007 on the upper cover and in 2018 on the lower cover).

The word CONFERENCE is misspelled (Missing F) in the upper cover, while it is correct in the lower cover.

The upper aircraft is Charles Lindbergh's Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis, while the lower is the Wright Flyer 1.

House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

 

First Day Cover – Webcraft add-on cachet (applied in 2009). House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

The word CONFERENCE is misspelled (Missing F).

 

First Day Cover – Hand Stamped cachet.

 

First Day Cover with the two stamps of the issue.

 

First Day Cover – Paul J. Young cachet.

 

 

 

Historical description card of the first powered flight with the 2-cent stamp - Size: 10" x 6.5".

 

Excerpt from the Scott Stamp Monthly, January 2000, Page 17.

 

Excerpt from the Linn's Stamp News, 25 November 2002, Page 24

 

Excerpt from the LINN’S STAMP NEWS, 14 October 2019, Vol. 92, No. 4746, Page 6

 

Excerpt from the LINN’S STAMP NEWS, 28 December 2020, Vol. 93, No. 4809, Page 26

 

Footnote 1: The official first day of issue was 12 December 1928 in Washington, D.C. Stamp and cover collectors mailed in their request for postmarks before the official release. During the conference, attendees were able to obtain first day postmarks in the United States Chamber of Commerce Building, located across Lafayette Park from the White House.

Postmaster General New directed that a special post office station be established in the building to accommodate customers from the conference seeking to purchase the stamps and obtain other postal services. In those days, establishment of a temporary post office station at a non-postal facility was unusual, reflecting the level of interest provided to this event by senior management.

Special machine cancellations in green were used during the three days of the conference. This was the first time an ink other than black was used for a first day machine cancellation.

 

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