AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY:
Making it on Their Own
By the end of the 1930s, legislation had stripped
all remnants of control of airmail service from the Post Office
Department. The branch of the federal government that paved
the way for commercial aviation in the United States was no
longer in control. The postal service continued to award contracts
to bidders for carrying airmail, but their influence over
the industry had all but vanished. U.S. aviation companies
finally were in control of their own destinies.
On May 20, 1939, Pan American Airways completed
the first transatlantic scheduled airline service, using a
Boeing 314 Yankee Clipper to carry passengers and mail from
New York to Portugal. Two decades later, on October 4, 1958
a jet carried mail across the Atlantic Ocean for the first
time. Mail traveled on this date between London and New York
By 1975, carrying mail by air, once a whimsical fad, had become such a fundamental part of American life and the postal service's transportation plan that by October 11, all U.S. first class mail was deemed to be carried by air without requiring an additional airmail fee.
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it on their Own.