The Saturday Evening Post History Minute: The Air Mail Stamp that Was a Bad Omen

The first air mail stamp was printed with a huge mistake that soon became reality.

Illustration of a biplane carrying mail on a U.S. postage stamp.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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The first air mail stamp was printed with a huge mistake that soon became reality.



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  2. Lucky George Boyle lived to tell about his crashes. He was fearless, just like Lucky Lindy.

  3. Incredible, fascinating video. That initial printing of the plane upside down was (hate to say it) indeed an omen after all. I’d love to own that stamp; and the corrected one too, of course.

    Planes should never be rushed into production, but they did it. You know the post office! I feel bad for George Boyle. It’s understandable he would have have gotten lost and tried to ask for directions, but then landed upside down. It’s amazing he wasn’t killed, much less with the crash two days later near the country club! With no command stations yet for guidance, it’s a wonder there weren’t a lot more crashes with air mail in its infancy.

    It had only one way to go—UP—-given this dubious start. The video also shows how accelerated things had become during World War I compared to the beginning of the decade, only 8 years earlier. Times may have changed greatly since then, but rest assured, the post office is still using poor judgement to this day.


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