Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First Officially Sanctioned U.S. Airmail Flight.

The National Post Museum reports that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the first officially sanctioned airmail flight.

According to the museum's website, "On August 17, 1859, the balloon Jupiter, piloted by professional balloonist John Wise, attempted a ‘transcontinental voyage’ from Lafayette, Indiana, to New York City."

It goes on to say, "Although his flight was cut short by unfavorable weather conditions, Wise earned a place in history by having arranged with Lafayette postmaster Thomas Wood to carry a mail bag containing 123 letters. Previous attempts to carry mail by balloon had not been sanctioned by the Post Office Department."

Shown here, a Jupiter cover postmarked "Lafayette Ind. Aug 16, 1859" which was carried on the flight.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM