Commentary, Postal History

Is National Air Mail Week still a thing?

It seems that the “National –insert cause here– Week” concept has been around for much longer than I thought.

At its introduction, one had to pay a premium for air mail service (24 cents) compared to regular first-class mail (3 cents). With the serious occupational hazards the first air mail pilots endured, I think the price was justified.

According to Edward A. Keogh, 1927, the earliest Air Mail service in the United States carried many more postcards than other type of mail, by a landslide, though the dates over which this tally was amassed is unclear.

Postcards 32,415 87%
Letters 3,993 11%
Circulars 1,062 3%
Total 37470

Though postcards are becoming rarer, we are now more dependent on air transport of mail than ever. How could we get our online purchases “over-nighted” without our packages continuing to take to the sky?


 

Side note: Philately is far too competitive for my taste, but I recently learned more about the famous “Inverted Jenny” stamp, the holy grail of stamp collectors valued at about $1 million. The stamp came about because of the rush to produce the 24 cent air mail postage. I much prefer the humanity that is revealed on vintage send postcards, but it’s also a hobby that’s much easier on the wallet than stamp collecting.

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