USPS will release two stamps this year to mark the 100th anniversary of airmail service.
On May 15, 1918, in the midst of World War I, a small group of Army pilots delivered mail along a route that linked Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City — initiating the world’s first regularly scheduled airmail service.
The Post Office Department took charge of the service that summer, operating it until 1927. Airmail delivery, daily except on Sundays, became part of the fabric of the American economy and spurred growth of the nation’s aviation industry.
Both stamps will feature the words “United States Air Mail” and show a Curtiss JN-4H biplane, the type of aircraft typically used in the early days of airmail service.
The first stamp, depicted in blue, will be released Tuesday, May 1. USPS will dedicate the stamp that day at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.
The second stamp, depicted in red, will be released during the summer.
USPS will print both stamps using the intaglio print method, a design transferred to paper from an engraved plate.
The Postal Service’s news release has more information.