Aerial Mail Service, A Chronology of the Early United States Government Air Mail March - December, 1918
The history of the United States Air Mail Service has been well documented with dates, facts, and statistics. May 15, 1918, was truly a red letter day in the history of air transport, not only in the United States, but also in the world as a whole; for it marked the launching of the first scheduled air mail service ever between major cities. But to link the biggest commercial center, New York, with the nation's capitol, Washington, was only a beginning. At that time, airplanes could not fly very much faster than the speed of express trains; and they were less reliable. If aviation was to make its mark on the public conscience as a visible alternative to well-tried surface means, the U.S. Post Office had to demonstrate a better time-saving advantage to compensate for the additional cost of postage and the cost of supporting the operation.
(Look up this book on eBay
, being offered for $75-$200!)MAX I didn't get to know him very well
Max Miller was one of the foremost of the early airmail pilots, having joined the Air Mail Service shortly after the initial May 15, 1918 flights. For two years, until his untimely death on September 1, 1920, the story of his life is in reality the story of the development of the transcontinental air mail service.
On the following pages, author A. D. "Don" Jones has written the definitive study of Max's life. Additionally, the two chapters describing Max's involvement in the 1918 "Pathfinder" flights between New York and Chicago are a major contribution to aerophilatelic literature, with more detailed information about the initial flights that led to the eventual transcontinental air transportation of mail than heretofore has been available to students of this period.O.A.T. and A.V. 2 MARKINGS
The appearance of OAT and AV2 markings on airmail covers have been beguiling collectors for many years. Until 1962, very little was known about them. A study had been made by Dr. Gordon Ward in Britain but most of his conclusions were based on speculation, as he had been unsuccessful in attempts to get any official explanations. In 1962, a major study by Donald D. Smythe was published in the American Philatelist. Smythe had not only been partially successful in getting some official replies, but had also devised a classification of markings based on an examination of about 300 covers. In 1979 and 1980, the Smythe study was updated in a series of articles by Dr. Leopold Dickstein in the Israel Philatelist. In 1983, a Phillips auction included a sale of the "Osprey" collection, which, at the time, was described as being the largest existing collection of the markings, and which included in the auction catalogue a marking classification differing in several ways from the Smythe grouping. The Smythe classification was again updated by the present author in the Airpost Journal in 1991 and 1992. In 1998, the first edition of this book was published. It was an attempt to put all knowledge, then current, into one publication. It was hoped that the publication would elicit information and additional data from readers that would broaden our knowledge of these markings.
In 2000 the 2nd edition was published. A number of new markings were recorded and some were corrected. In this 3rd edition a number of new markings are recorded and some previous assumptions modified. The data base has almost doubled, resulting in changes to the order of rarity. Two negative elements have also become evident. Improper use of OAT/AV2 strikes on otherwise normal covers (i.e. forgeries) have appeared with increasing frequency. With OAT strikes being applied at a point other than the place of original mailing, it would seem that philatelic usage would not be possible, but this also seems to be increasing. Two new sections have been included - one on forgeries and the second on facing tags and labels. One of the main objectives of the publication is still to increase interest in and knowledge of the markings.
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