Resources: Bibliography, Links and Credits


  • Air Mail Pioneers. The Roll Call: Dedicated to the Pioneers of Commercial Aviation of U.S.A. The Pioneers, 1956
  • American Air Mail Society. American Air Mail Catalogue, Volume One, Sixth Edition. American Air Mail Society, 1998
  • Amick, George. Jenny. Sidney, Ohio. Amos Press, c1986.
  • Beltrametti, Franco. Airmail Postcards. New York: Vehicle Editions, c1979.
  • Borden, Norman E. Air mail emergency, 1934; an account of seventy-eight tense days in the winter of 1934 when the Army flew the United States. Freeport, Me., Bond Wheelwright Company, 1968.
  • Boseman, J. The history of some interesting balloon post flights. With illustrations from the collection of the Netherlands Aero Museum. The Hague: International Society of Aero Historians, 1968.
  • Boughner, Fred. Airmail antics. Sidney, Ohio : Amos Press, c1988.
  • Boyle, Thomas H. Air Mail operations during World War II. Mineola, NY : American Air Mail Society, 1998.
  • Bruns, James H. Turk Bird: The Life and Times of Eddie Gardner. National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1999.
  • Field, Francis J. Siege of Paris, 1870-1871, Balloon Posts. Sutton Coldfield, Eng., F. J. Field, ltd, 1939.
  • Garber, Paul Edward. Air mail: How it Began. [Washington]: Airlines Postal Affairs Committee, Air Transport Association of America, 1969.
  • Garvey, William & David Fisher; Randy Johnson, editor / contributing author. The age of flight: a history of America's pioneering airline (United Airlines). Greensboro, N.C.: Pace Communications
  • Glines, Carroll V. Airmail--How it all Began. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: AERO, c1990.
  • Holmes, Donald B. Air Mail, an Illustrated History, 1793-1981 1st ed. New York : C.N. Potter : Distributed by Crown Publishers, c1981.
  • Jackson, Donald Dale and the editors of Time-Life Books. Flying the mail . Alexandria, Va. : Time-Life Books, c1982.
  • Kreider, Karen, Jim Mitchell & Floyd Norman. Walt Disney's The Perils of Mickey Mouse: The Mail Pilot. Racine, Wisconsin, Western Pub. Co., 1993.
  • Kronstein, Max. Pioneer Airpost Flights of the World 1830-1935. Washington, D.C. : American Air Mail Society, 1978.
  • Leary, William M. Airmail Pioneers – The U.S. Air Mail Service 1918-1927. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985.
  • Leary, William M., Editor. Pilots' Directions. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 1990.
  • Lewis, W. David, Editor. Airline Executives and Federal Regulation: Cases Studies in American Enterprise from the Airmail Era to the Dawn of the Jet Age
  • Ohio State University Press, May 2000.
  • Lipsner, Benjamin B. The airmail, Jennies to jets. Chicago, Wilcox & Follett, 1951.
  • Mackay, James A. Airmails, 1870-1970. London, Batsford. 1971.
  • Meyers, John, Editor. Airways to airlines: [a 50 year history of commercial aviation] . Aviation Book company, 1975.
  • Nielson, Dale. Saga of the U. S. Air Mail Service, 1918-1927. Miami, Florida: Air Mail Pioneers, 1962.
  • Nierinck, Henri L. Courrier récupéré: accidents d'avions (Recovered mail: airplane crashes, 1918-1978). Antwerpen, Belgium: Réditions, 1984.
  • O'Sullivan, Thomas J. The Pioneer Airplane Mails of the United States. American Air Mail Society, 1985.
  • Short, Simine, Cheryl Ganz, Editor, Via Airmail: An Aerophilatelic Survey of Events, Routes, and Rates. American Air Mail Society. October 1992.
  • United States. Post Office Department. Air mail contracts. Letter from the postmaster general transmitting, in response to Senate resolution no. 394, certain information relative to air mail contracts, existing air mail routes in the United States, new routes to be established, and names of officers and attorneys that have been employees of the United States government within the past five years. Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 71st Cong. 3d Session Senate. Doc. 315, 1931
  • United States. Post Office Department. Air mail contracts. Letter from the Postmaster General transmitting in response to Senate resolution no. 53 certain information relative to air mail contracts. 72d Cong., 1st Session Senate. Doc. 70, 1932
  • United States. Post Office Department. Air mail. Hearing[s] before the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, House of Representatives, Seventy-third Congress, second session, on H. R. 3, H. R. 8578 and other air mail bills. April 20, 1933; February 15, 16, 20, 22; March 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20 and 21, 1934. Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932
  • United States. Post Office Department. Annual Report of the Postmaster General of the United States. Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, Reports used – fiscal year 1911 through 1935.
  • Van der Linden, F. Robert. Airlines and Air Mail : the post office and the birth of the commercial aviation industry. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2002.
  • Vecsey, George. The Pioneers of Aviation Speak for Themselves. NAL Dutton, 1979.

Younger Audiences

  • Bingham, Caroline. DK Big Book of Airplanes. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishers, 2001.
  • Blackburn, Ken & Jeff Lammers. Kids' Paper Airplane Book. New York: Workman Publishers, 1996.
  • Blackburn, Ken & Jeff Lammers. The World Record Paper Airplane Book. New York: Workman Publishers, 1994.
  • Weitzman, David. Jenny: The Airplane That Taught America to Fly.

Airmail Philatelic Journals in the National Postal Museum's Collection

  • Title: Monthly Air Mail.
    Publisher: Liverpool, England : J.S. Davis, 1930-
    Description: v. : ill. ; 22 cm.
    Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1930)-
    Frequency: Monthly
    Notes: Title from masthead.
    Local Note: NPM copy has v. 4, no. 10 and V. 4, no. 11 bound in reverse order.
  • Title: Aero News.
    Publisher: Springfield, Mass. : Aero Philatelic Society of America, 1926-
    Description: v. : ill., maps ; 21 cm.
    Vol. 1, no. 1 (July, 1926) = whole no. 1-
    Frequency: Monthly
    Notes: Title from caption.
    Official organ of the Aero Philatelic Society of America.
    Society changed name to American Air Mail Society with v. 1, no. 5 (Nov. 1926)
  • Title: Aero News.
    Publisher: Dunkirk, N.Y. : Lake Shore Shop.
    Description: v. : ill. ; 21 cm.
    Frequency: Semi-monthly
    Notes: Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 8 (June 30, 1930).
  • Title: Die Luftpost.
    Publisher: Berlin, Kurt Dahmann.
    Description: v. illus. 21 cm.
    Notes: "Berichte aus aller Welt für den Luftpostund Raumfahrt-Sammler.
    Organ der Aero-Philatelisten-Vereine und-Verbände.
  • Title: Aero-Newsletter.
    Publisher: [Springfield, Mass.] : Aero Philatelic Society of America, 1923-
    Description: 3 v. ; 28-33 cm. Size varies. Mimeographed.
    No. 1 (Nov. 9, 1923)-v. 3, no. 7 (June 1926).
    Frequency: Monthly -v. 3, no. 7 = whole no. 35.
    Former Frequency: Irregular
    Notes: Title from caption.
  • Title: The Air Mail Collector
    Publisher: [Holton, Kan. : Gossip Printery], 1928-1932.
    Description: 4 v. : ill. ; 22 cm.
    Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 1928)-v. 4, no. 11 (Sept. 1932).
    Notes: Title from cover.
    Vol. 1-v. 4, no. 11 also called: Whole no. 1-47.
    Official organ of the American Air Mail Society.
  • Title: L'Aviette Postale.
    Publisher: [Charleville : Imp. G. Lenoir]
    Description: v. : ill. ; 21 cm.
    Frequency: Monthly
    Notes: Description based on: 3. Année, no. 14 (15 janv. 1927)
    Organ de l'Association Amicale Aérophilatélique.
  • Title: Air Mail News / British Air Mail Society
    Publisher: [London, England] : The Society,
    Description: v. : ill. ; 26 cm.
    Frequency: Bimonthly
    Notes: Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 3 (June/July 1961); title from cover.
  • Title: The Aero Field.
    Publisher: [Sutton Coldfield, etc., Eng., F. J. Field]
    Description: v. ill., maps 22 cm.
    v. 1-3 (no. 1-28), Apr. 1926-Mar. 1930; new ser., v. 1- Jan./Feb. 1937-
    Frequency: Frequency varies.
    Notes: Suspended Apr. 1930-Dec. 1936.
    Indexes: New ser., v. 1-7, 1937-43, with v. 7.
  • Title: The Aero Philatelist Annals.
    Publisher: [New York] The Aero Philatelists.
    Description: v. ill. 26 cm.
    v. 1- July 1953-
    Frequency: Quarterly
  • Title: Jack Knight Air Log.
    Publisher: Brookfield, Illinois : Jack Knight Air Mail Society, 1944-91.
    Description: v. : ill. ; 20-28 cm.
    Vol. 1 (Nov. 1943/Jan. 1944)-v. 48, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1991)
    Notes: Official journal of the Jack Knight Air Mail Society.
    Title varies; vol. 48, no. 1 (Jan./Mar. 1991): The Jack Knight Air Log combined with Aerophilatelic Federation of the Americas News. Issued Jan. 1945- as supplement to the Airpost journal and S.P.A. journal. Combined with: Aerophilatelic Federation of the Americas news, to form: Jack Knight Air Log & AFA News, Apr./June 1991.
  • Author: Metropolitan Airmail Cover Club.
    Title: M.A.C.C. bulletin.
    Publisher: Malverne, N.Y., 1951-
    Description: v. illus. 20-21 cm.
    Frequency: Monthly
    Notes: Reproduced from typewritten copy.
  • Title: The Air Stamp Review and General Advertiser.
    Publisher: New York City : K. Lissiuk Philatelic Co., Inc.
    Description: v. : ill. ; 23 cm.
    Frequency: Quarterly?
    Notes: Description based on: [Vol. 1], issue no. 2 (Feb. 1930)
  • Title: The Aero Philatelist's Bulletin.
    Publisher: [New York] Aero Philatelists, Inc.
    Description: v. 28 cm.

Younger Audiences

    Curious about the first hundred years of flight? Try this comprehensive website.
    Access the "Educational Services" section of the National Air and Space Museum for activities and curriculum materials.
    The Federal Aviation Administration offers information on the history, science, careers and current state of aviation; materials for educators; and activities for children.
    NASA provides extensive avenues of exploration for teachers and students.
    Become engaged in invention through the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History Behring Center.


  • The Air Legion
    (FBO 1929, Silent)
    Directed by Bert Glennon
    Ben Lyon
    Antonio Moreno
    John Gough
    Martha Sleeper.
    Plot: The son of a legendary WWII flying ace is hired as an airmail pilot based on his father's reputation. Unfortunately, the son is a coward who would rather wound himself than fly in dangerous weather. He saves his reputation by saving the life of a fellow pilot.
  • Air Mail
    (Universal 1932)
    Directed by: John Ford
    Actors: Pat O'Brien, Ralph Bellamy, Slim Summerville , Gloria Stuart, Jim Thorpe
    Plot: The lives, trials and tribulations of a group of airmail pilots flying in and out of a small airport in the Rocky Mountains.
  • The Air Mail Mystery
    (Universal 1932)
    Directed by: Ray Taylor
    Actors: Walter Brennan , Lucile Browne, James Flavin, Wheeler Oakman , Al Wilson
    Plot: The trials and tribulations of early U.S. airmail pilots.
  • The Air Mail
    (Paramount-Lasky 1925, Silent)
    Directed by: Irvin Willat
    Actors: Warner Baxter , Mary Brian , Billie Dove , Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
    Plot: A crook cons his way into a job as an airmail pilot in order to steal valuables. A good woman and the moral strength of his fellow pilots make him see the error of his ways.
  • The Air Mail Pilot
    (Superlative 1928, Silent)
    Directed by: Gene Carroll
    Actors: James Fulton, DeWitt Jennings, Earl Metcalf
    Plot: Airmail pilots are perplexed by a series of airmail robberies.
  • The Aviator
    (United Artists 1985)
    Directed by: George Miller
    Actors: Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette , Jack Warden , Sam Wanamaker
    Plot: An airmail pilot is forced to take the daughter of a VIP in his airplane along with the airmail. The airplane crashes in the mountains and the pair must struggle to survive.
  • Blaze of Noon
    (Paramount 1947)
    Directed by: John Farrow
    Actors: Anne Baxter , William Bendix , Howard DaSilva , Sterling Hayden , William Holden , Sonny Tufts
    Pilot: Based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. Four brothers turn in their lives as carnival stunt fliers to work for the U.S. Airmail Service.
  • Ceiling Zero
    (Warner Bros 1935)
    Directed by: Howard Hawks
    Actors: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Stuart Erwin, June Travis, Barton MacLane
    Plot: An adaptation of the Frank Wead play. An irresponsible airmail pilot drives his manager crazy with his stunts, one of which results in the death of a young pilot.
  • The Flying Mail
    (Associated 1926, Silent)
    Directed by: Noel M Smith
    Actors: Joseph Girard , Eddie Gribbon , Kathleen Myers , Frank Tomick , Harry von Meter , Al Wilson
    Plot: An airmail pilot is fooled by crooks into thinking he has married a crooked woman as part of a scheme to rob the U.S. mail.
  • Night Flight
    (MGM 1933)
    Directed by: Clarence Brown
    Actors: Clark Gable , Helen Hayes , John Barrymore , Lionel Barrymore , Myrna Loy , Robert Montgomery , William Gargan
    Plot: The lives and loves of a group of airmail pilots living and working in South America.
  • Only Angels Have Wings
    (Columbia 1939)
    Directed by: Howard Hawks
    Actors: Cary Grant , Jean Arthur , Thomas Mitchell , Richard Barthelmess , Rita Hayworth, Sig Ruman , John Carroll , Noad Beery Jr
    Plot: The lives and loves of a group of airmail pilots living and flying in South America.
  • Pirates of the Sky
    (Pathè 1927 Silent)
    Directed by: Charles Andrews
    Actors: Charles Hutchison , Wanda Hawley
    Plot: The government forces a daredevil pilot to help them track down a missing airmail airplane.
  • The Sky Spider
    (Action Pictures 1931)
    Directed by: Richard Thorpe
    Actors: Glen Tryon, Pat O'Malley, John Trent
    Plot: Two brothers, both airmail pilots, are after the same girl. The romantic triangle is complicated by an airmail robbery.
  • The Sky's the Limit
    ([unknown]1925, Silent)
    Directed by : Harry L Fraser, I W Irving
    Actors: Jack Geddings , Alphonse Martell , Jane Starr, Bruce Gordon
    Plot: Airmail pilots face danger from thieves trying to steal the mail.
  • Snowed In
    (Pathè 1926 Silent)
    Directed by: Spencer Gordon Bennett
    Actors: Tom London, Walter Miller, Allene Ray
    Plot: A serial of the dangers faced by U.S. airmail pilots.


  • The Aero Equine Express March
    Music by Charles H.E. Remondino
    San Diego, California. Burlingame Publishing Company, 1930.
  • Come Josephine in My Flying Machine (Up She Goes!)
    Music by Fred Fischer and words by Alfred Bryan,
    New York. Shapiro, Music Publisher, 1910.
  • Come Take a Trip in My Air Ship
    Music by George Evans and words by Ren Shields
    New York. Chas. K. Harris, 1904.
  • The Flier's Dream
    Music by Ida Westerberg, words by Jesse G.M. Glick
    Mill Valley, California. Ida Westerberg, 1907.
  • Four Songs of the Air Service
    Music by Eric Coates and words by Edward Lockton
    London, England. West and Co., 1918.
  • I Am a Knight of the Open Way
    Dedicated to the conquerors of the sky
    Music by Dorothy Mayhew, words by Joy York,
    Hollywood. California. Dorothy Mayhew, 1937.
  • I could Live in an Airplane
    Music by G. Ellwin Willats and words by A. Macarthur
    San Francisco, California. Willats Music Bureau, 1911.
  • I'm the King of the Air
    Dedicated to Art Smith
    Words and music by G. Forbes Marrack
    San Francisco, California. Forbes Publishing Company, 1915.
  • Like an Angel You Flew into Everyone's Heart
    Dedicated to Charles Lindbergh
    Words by Harry A. Stone and John McLaughlin, music by Jimmy McHugh and Irving Mills
    New York. Jack Mills, Inc., 1927.
  • Lindbergh (The Eagle of the U.S.A.)
    Words and music by Howard Johnson and Al Sherman
    New York. Shapiro and Bernstein and Company, 1927.
  • Lindbergh March for Piano
    Music by Billy James
    New York. Jack Mills, Inc., 1927.
  • Lucky Lindy
    Words by L. Wolfe Gilbert, music by Abel Baer
    New York. Leo. Feist, 1927.
  • Silver Wings (Keep 'Em Flying)
    Words by Christine Hill, music by Edward Sumner
    Hollywood, California. Christine Hill, 1941.
  • Take Me Up With You Dearie
    Words by Junie McCree, music by Albert von Tilzer
    New York. The York Music Company, 1909.
  • Wait ‘Till You Get Them Up In The Air Boys
    Words by Lew Brown, music by Albert von Tilzer
    New York. Broadway Music Corporation, 1909.


  • Sylvia Ekezie and Lillie Fujinaga of LIOBmedia, who are responsible for the design and creation of the original Fad to Fundamental: Airmail in America website.
  • Nancy Allison Wright, President, Air Mail Pioneers for her continued assistance in tracking down photographs and biographies of early airmail pilots.
  • Mike Newcomer, for his well researched and well drawn illustrations.
  • Fad to Fundamental: Airmail in America, was written and organized by Nancy Pope, Lynn Heidelbaugh, Kimberly McCray and Esther Washington of the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
  • Additional thanks to the entire Museum staff, especially Bill Lommel and James O'Donnell.

Fad to Fundamental: Airmail in America