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AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY: A Bold Venture and Public Failure

Postal officials, eager to prove the usefulness of a New York – Chicago flyway, excitedly trumpeted the September 1918 path-finding flights as pure success, when they were anything but. Only Eddie Gardner's return trip from Chicago to New York was made in a day, and it ended in a crash that injured Gardner and his passenger and mechanic, Ed Radel. Nevertheless, reckless officials promised an operational flyway between New York City, Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois within a month. That promise had to be extended until December, and yet even then, neither aircraft nor weather would cooperate. Although the pilots tried to make the schedule work, the entire plan was an utter failure.

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