Today in Postal History
Switzerland Internal Usage
May 4, 1924
This colorful registered airmail special delivery (express) cover
was flown on one
of a many such special flights between various locations in Switzerland during 1924.
This flight was from Laufen to Zurich.
Laufen is about 12 km south of Basel and 125 km west of Zurich.
The stamps used include all six values of the 1923 second airmail
- 15c. brown red and apple green, 25c. dark blue and blue, 35c brown and buff,
40c. violet and gray violet, 45c. red and indigo, and 50c. black and red - (Scott C3, C5-C9).
In addition there is a 30c. vignette (charity label) overprinted for this flight.
Flugpost Laufen - Zurich zu
Gunsten des Soldatendenkmal
Bat. 23 und Laufental
'Air Post Laufen - Zurich to
benefit the Soldier Monument
Battalion 23 and Laufen Valley.'**
The stamps were cancelled with four strikes of a special
blue FLUGPOST LAUFEN-ZURICH two-ring cancel for the occasion.
The American Air Mail Catalog says, "Frequently special air vignettes were issued for these  flights. On only two occasions, at Grenchen on April 13, 1924 and at Laufen on May 4, 1924, were these vignettes officially recognized and cancelled with special offical cachets. In all other cases the cachets found on the air vignettes of this period were unoffical."
The sender added a nice tri-lingual airmail etiquette.
There are also registry labels and an express label added by the post office.
The cover's arrival in Zurich was marked by a FLUGPOST CDS from Zurich dated May 4.
It subsequently arrived at Solothurn and was marked with a May
As is often the case with such flights, the destination
of the cover was only about 20 km south of Laufen.
Sanabria records the pilot for this flight as W. Mittelholzer,
a famed aerial photographer.
A citation says of him: "Swissphoto Vermessung AG is the largest provider
of photogrammetry, engineering surveys and geoinformatic services in Switzerland today.
There are more than 75 people employed in the head office in Regensdorf-Watt
and in the two Swiss branch offices in Zollikon (Zurich) and Altdorf (Canton Uri).
The company was founded in 1931 by W. Mittelholzer,
a Swiss flight pioneer, under the name Swissair Photo Ltd."*
*Thanks to Jim W-S for this interesting addition.
** Thanks to Roger H. for his help in getting me started on
correcting the transcription and also the translation.
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