Postmen of the Skies
On display until May 27, 2019
In addition to its permanent exhibition on the nation’s airmail service, the Postal Museum has a temporary exhibition, Postmen of the Skies.
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.