Chicago Analysis

Pilot Eddie Gardner's goggle storage case
E. V. Gardner's goggle case. “A record in a single day Chicago to N.Y. Sept 10 1918” is boldly emblazoned upon the front.

In retrospect, the New York-Chicago path-finder flights were of little importance in and of themselves. They demonstrated nothing about the line, except that it was impractical to implement given the Airmail Service's lack of men, equipment, and money. The true importance of the flights lies in the positive publicity it generated. It was this publicity, along with the speed with which Gardner’s return trip was executed, that was used to secure more funding from an increasingly skeptical Congress.

Despite problems that the path-finder flights brought to light with the New York-Chicago route, Praeger decided to go ahead with plans for regularly scheduled mail service between New York and Chicago, to start in later that month. Most considered it unwise, however Praeger sought to prove them wrong.