Today in Postal History


Denmark Early Flight
May 12, 1914

From Pioneer Airpost Flights of the World 1910-1935, Dr. Max Kronstein, American Air Mail Society, 1978:

On May 10, 11, 1912, Copenhagen had one of its unique aviation events.  The French aviator Pegoud with his Bleriot Monoplane performed his famous Looping presentations.  He shot up into the air, then turned upside down and continued his flight with the wheels on top until he turned over to the normal position.  Very few flyers of that period were able to do that.  In spite of a 50 Ore entrance fee the public participation was considerable.  Another contestant, Ghantelsop, demonstrated his biplane flights and then left by air for Krisham and other places in Norway for demonstration flights.  These events were terminated on May 12 by a flight of Lieutenant Ussing with a Henry Farman plane.  As announced in advance by the Bornehjoelp Dagen Committee, he carried a special airmail from Copenhagen to Roskilde.  4500 cards, mostly issued by the same committee, had been mailed.  A uniformed postal official delivered the mail in packages to the airplane.  This produced about 1000 Kronen for the committee.

30 minutes after his start from Copenhagen, Ussing landed at Roskilde, observed by about 2000 people who gave him a jubilant reception.  He turned the mail over to the postmaster and left ten minutes later for the return flight to Copenhagen, arriving 59 minutes after his original departure.

These cards have a circular cachet "Flown with Denmark's First Airpost -- 12 May 1914."  The postage stamps were cancelled at the redespatch at Roskilde.

The American Air Mail Society Catalog notes that there are two cachets on this cover.
The first is the violet Besorgert med Danmarks -- 12 Maj 1914 -- 1ste Flyvepost which is translated above.
The second is a magenta cachet for the sponsoring committee "B
ørnehjælps | Dagen | 12 Maj | 1914."
Børnehjælpsdagen translates as "Child Help Day" which I believe was a children's charity.*
The card's illustration would seem to suggest that sort of activity.
Can someone confirm that?

Roskilde is just a bit more than 30 km west of Copenhagen.
No wonder the round trip was completed in less than an hour.

Here is a link to a 1910 Henry Farman plane.
Here is a link to some 1912 Farman planes.

The picture postcard was franked with a 1907 5 ore green numeral (Scott 72).

The cover's route was from Copenhagen to Roskilde where it was cancelled with a CDS.
It was then forwarded to Skovshoved.
Shovshoved is on the coast about 10 km north of Copenhagen.*
It is a site for sail racing.

The message is just a greeting from Børnehjælpsdagen.*
There is a better image of the message

*Thanks to Bjorn Munch for help in translating Child Help Day
and the message and in identifying and locating Skovshoved.


Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.