Today in Postal History



Kenya to England
February 7, 1927

This cover was designated to be flown on the first flight
from Kisumu, Kenya, on the east shore of Lake Victoria.

The cover was franked with stamps of Tanganyika.
There are two 1925 10c.  orange yellow frame and three
1922 15c. carmine-red frame stamps with black giraffe heads (SG 90 and 76).

The stamps were cancelled with three strikes of the Kisumu, Kenya, CDS.
I do not know why stamps of Tanganyika were used in Kenya
at this time although they were obviously honored at the post office.
    The postal administrations of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika were not consolidated until 1933.
Can anyone help?


The first flight departed February 15 and headed for Cairo via Jinja and Khartoum.
Jinja is on the north side of Lake Victoria in Uganda only 200 km west northwest.
The next leg to Khartoum, Sudan, was about 2000 km north.
Similarly, the leg to Cairo was also about 2000 km north.

The cover arrived in Cairo on February 20 according to the roller backstamp.

The AAMC catalog says that "the first flight mail was marked with
a round cachet appropriately inscribed and the legend '1st Air Mail'."
This cover missed that treatment as it seems to have been sent early
in time for the flight which may not have departed on schedule.

The cover was marked 'By Air Route'  and bore a simple BY AIR MAIL etiquette.

The AAMC catalog also notes that "On the second flight of this service the
plane crashed and regular service was not resumed until several years later."

Air mail service between England and Egypt was not yet established.
Imperial Airways opened the route in 1931.

There is no indication of the cover's arrival at its destination of Dartmouth, South Devon.
Dartmouth is on the English Channel about 40 km east of Plymouth.

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