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POSTMEN OF THE SKIES
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF AIRMAIL SERVICE

In addition to its permanent exhibition on the nation’s airmail service, the Postal Museum will have a temporary exhibition, Postmen of the Skies, open from May 1, 2018—May 27, 2019.


Postmen of the Skies: Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service

In 1918 the first regularly scheduled airmail service began operations. Planes carried mail between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. The nation greeted the new service with enthusiasm. Crowds surrounded airfields in all three cities, eager to watch history in action. The nation became more enamored with their postal pilots as the service grew. By September 8, 1920 mail was flying between New York and San Francisco.

The Post Office operated the service until 1927, having begun in 1925 to turn over some routes to private airlines. The new airlines built their businesses on the postal routes, infrastructure and pilots. Over the next decade, airmail contracts financed the fledgling airlines, serving to help build the nation’s commercial aviation industry.

Learn more about the early airmail service at the museum’s main airmail website.

Stories of many of those early pilots can be found here within that main website.

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From left to right: Pilots Jack Knight, Clarence Lange, Lawrence Garrison, “Wild” Bill Hopson and Andrew Dunphy, head of the Omaha-Salt Lake City Division posed in front of an airmail hangar in Omaha.