The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum announced that it received a donation from FedEx to fund “Airmail in America,” a new exhibition opening Feb. 22 in the museum’s transportation gallery. “Airmail in America” highlights the critical role of the postal system in the creation of America’s commercial aviation industry, as well as the pilots and aircraft that made it possible.
“Many of our visitors may be surprised to learn that today’s commercial aviation industry was built from the need to get the mail delivered,” said museum director Allen Kane. “It’s a truly fascinating story and we’re very pleased that we’re able to tell it through ‘Airmail in America.’ We are grateful to FedEx for their support of this exhibit.”
Through stories of adventure, bravado and mishaps, visitors will discover the importance of airmail throughout the history of aviation. The museum’s circa-1920s airmail beacon and three vintage airmail planes—the first airplane to carry mail, the 1911 Wiseman-Cooke; the “workhorse of the airmail service, the 1919 de Havilland; and a 1936 Stinson-Reliant airmail pick-up aircraft—will remain on display in the new exhibit. Additional items to be displayed include a vintage leather flight suit and goggles worn by pilot Eddie Gardner, flight schedules, model planes and a log book belonging to Max Miller, the first postal pilot.
“FedEx is proud to sponsor the ‘Airmail in America’ exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum,” said David J. Bronczek, president and CEO of FedEx Express.
About the National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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