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The ultimate goal of the Air Mail Service was to create a system that could be used by privately operated companies contracting with the Post Office Department to carry the U.S. mail. By the mid 1920s, it was apparent that the time was coming to help make that transformation a reality.

Did you know?In 1925, Postmaster General Harry S. New (who, while in Congress, had cast at least one vote against the airmail service) worked with Congressman Clyde Kelly of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to forge the transformation. The result was the Contract Air Mail Act of 1925, commonly referred to as the Kelly Act. The next step in creating the U.S. commercial aviation industry had been made.

This legislation was followed by a series of amendments and additional legislation through the 1930s, as the road from public to private turned out to be bumpier than expected.

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