100 years ago today, on April 10, 1912, aviator George Mestach made the first airmail delivery in Louisiana, ferrying 32 pounds of mail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in an hour and 31 minutes.
This postcard, in The NYPL’s Rare Books division, was one piece of mail delivered via that early route. It reads, “Hope this msh which I send up in the air for you will come down a reality. See postmark. F.”
The very first experimental airmail delivery in the United States took place on September 23, 1911, just seven months earlier. Earle L. Ovington flew from Garden City to Mineola, NY, about six miles away. The first regularly scheduled airmail service didn’t begin until May 15, 1918, when mail was flown from Washington DC to New York with a stop in Philadelphia.