Highlight Flights of the 20th Century

Airmail quickly captured the imagination and interest of people across the country. Suddenly those who had given no previous thought to stamps or cover collecting were eagerly sending mail on any flight of note. Thousands of flights that the 20th century carried specially canceled and designed envelopes. Some created by individuals for a flight, some by entrepreneurs who sold the philatelic materials when the flights were completed.

The National Postal Museum has examples of many notable flights in its collection.

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This envelope, canceled on June 28, 1924, was carried on the first transcontinental "through schedule involving night flying" airmail trip made by U.S. Post Office Department airmail pilots. The service began on July 1, 1924.

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This envelope, canceled on July 1, 1924, was carried on the first transcontinental "through schedule involving night flying" airmail trip made by U.S. Post Office Department airmail pilots.

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This envelope, canceled on July 1, 1924, was carried on the first transcontinental "through schedule involving night flying" airmail trip made by U.S. Post Office Department airmail pilots. Notice the Air Mail Service's emblem of a circle between wings.

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Envelope canceled for and carried on the July 1, 1925 night flight from New York, New York, to Chicago, Illinois.

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An envelope canceled May 14, 1939 and carried on an airmail "pick up" flight.

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This envelope, addressed to airmail collector Emma Batchelor, was canceled on November 22, 1935. It was carried on the first airmail flight from San Francisco, California to Manila, Philippines.

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July 1926 overnight flight Chi-NY

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Mail Pick up Cover - Adams 1934

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Clipper flight, 1942 (censored)

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1946 Flying Post Office cover - TWA

Fad to Fundamental: Airmail in America