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AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY: Building the Foundation

The progress being made in the science of aviation encourages the hope that ultimately the regular conveyance of mail by this means may be practical.
Postmaster General Hitchcock, Post Office Department Annual Report for 1911.

A useless expenditure of money.
Representative Joseph Cannon (R-IL) on a proposal to fund an experimental airmail service, April 12, 1911.

Did you kow?In 1911, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock enthusiastically promoted Earle Ovington's airmail flights, even swearing him in as the first U.S. airmail pilot. The few flights Ovington made that fall were designed to generate enthusiasm for the idea of transporting mail by air. Despite Hitchcock's attempts to attract funding, Congress was reluctant to pay for an experiment when no aircraft yet existed capable of carrying mail between towns on a regular basis.

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1911 airmail in Arkansas  
  1912 airmail in Marietta, Ohio
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) 1911 airmail in Arkansas

( bottom right) 1912 airmail in Marietta, Ohio
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