Today in Postal History

 

Indian Domestic Airmail
February 18, 1911

This air mail cover has the distinction of having been carried on the First Official Airmail Flight.
It was sold on eBay on September 5, 2000; the winning price was $83.57.

Here's what the American Air Mail Catalogue Volume II 1950 edition had to say about the cover:

1911, February 18 -- World's First Official Air Mail Flight, Allahabad.  In connection with the United Provinces Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition at Allahabad, a number of exhibition mail carrying flights were arranged through the cooperation of the Postmaster General.  About 6500 letters and cards were flown by the French Aviator, M. Pequet, from the Exhibition Grounds at Allahabad to Naini Junction, about five miles away.  Covers were marked with a large magenta cachet showing a plane within a double lined circle, inscribed "First Aerial Post -- 1911 -- U.P. Exhibition Allahabad".  About 40 larger used cards were signed by the pilot.

Walter Windham, a motor-car producer and racer, was the promoter of this flight.
You can learn more about this flight at Pioneer Airmail Flights - Part I.

Allahabad is about 600 km south southeast of Delhi.

After the five mile flight to Naini Junction,
the covers were forwarded by regular mail to their destination.

This cover was sent to Calcuutta.
The cover has a special CDS for the occasion.

The cover was franked with a 1902 half anna yellow green King Edward VII (SG 121).

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