Today in Postal History


 
Sweden Domestic Usage
September 27, 1912

During September 21-26, 1912, a third series of Swedish pioneer airmail flights
were made between Stockholm and local destinations.

Facit has the following note:

[These are] privately produced Air Mail stamps.  The Children's Day Society of Stockholm issued 10.000 stamps without postal value.  About 3.200 were sold at 60 ore each.  10 ore was for the postage stamp and 50 ore for the air mail charge and the Children's Day charity.  Letters to foreign destinations had to be prepaid with 2 copies of the special air mail stamp, of which 20 ore were postage stamps.  The stamps were used on September 21st, 22nd and 26th on letters or cards together with 5 or 10 ore postage stamps as actual postage.  They were cancelled officially with the special cancel.

The Mail Flight on September 21st took off from Gardet (the Festival Fields at the north of Stockholm).  The mail was dumped at Tureberg and canceled there on the same day.  The flight on September 22nd ended in a forced landing in Vartan (the bay at the north of Gardet).  The mail was recovered and canceled on arrival at Lidingo Villastad (the residential suburb of the north of Vatan) on September 25, 1912.  The flight on September 26th took place about Gardet.

All flights were made by Olle Dahlbeck piloting a Sommer plane.

Sometimes the Air Mail stamps as well as the ordinary postage stamps were canceled with the ordinary hand stamp at the Post Office

Of the remaining 6,800 not less than 4,800 were overprinted and used in 1937.

This is certainly the most definitive and consistent information I've encountered.*
There are some other sources which provide other views and some contradictory information.
I do believe that the Facit catalogue is the most reliable.

Knud-Erik Andersen also found us this story on Sommer and the planes he built in the early days of aviation.

The American Airmail Society Catalogue, Volume 2 (1950 edition) describes these flights as follows:

Intermediate points on this route were Tereberg and Vartan.  About 5,000 cards were carried by the Pilot Olle Dahlbeck which were franked with special semi-official air stamps of the value of 50 ore and officially cancelled by the  post office with a special marking reading "Sveriges -- September 1912 -- Forsta Flygpost."  Flights were made on September 21, 22, and 26.


We can learn more from Dr. Max Kronstein's book, Pioneer Airpost Flights of the World,
published by the American Air Mail Society in 1978.

      The greatest of Swedish pioneer airmail events was arranged for Barnens Day, 1912.  Olle Dahlbeck again was to carry this airmail.  At the time he was working on a new "First Swedish Built Hydro-aeroplane" (with a 20 HP Gnome motor) and had test flown this plane on September 19, 1912.  But it was evidently not this new plane which he used for the airmail flight.  On September 17 the local papers began to carry daily ads "Anvand Barnens Dags -- Flygmarke!"  A special airstamp was on sale for 60 ore each at all "marked airpost centers" or at the Barnens Day Headquarters at Vassagaten 11.  [Note:  Subsequent information indicates that the 60 ore included 50 ore for the special airmail stamps and the charity and 10 ore regular postage.]  This air stamp was printed in sheets of 8 x 7 stamps, perforated 12 ½.  It was on sale starting September 1, 1912, even though the flights did not start until late in the month.  Regular postage was to be added besides the air stamp and a cancellation was announced reading "SVERIGES [SEPTEMBER 1912] FORSTA FLYGPOST."
      On September 21 it was announced that Lt. Dahlbeck would carry the Barnens Day Airpost in his airplane and he was getting ready for the occasion.  On September 22, a Sunday, he started at 5:30 and made a curve over Vartans, but ran into engine trouble.  At that time he had at least some of the airmail on board.  At a height of 200 meters (200 yards) he was forced to change into a glider flight and succeeded in landing his plane safely at Havfladen.
      After the plane was repaired and a new motor had been installed, he started the airmail again on September 25 between 5 and 6 p.m. and was touring over Djurgarden.

Dr. Kronstein doesn't explain what flight took place on September 26.
The discrepancy in price has been resolved, I belive.
The seller of the cover supported the 60 ore value
but was probably unaware of the inclusion of regular postage.
All of the locations mentioned are in the vicinity of Stockholm.

Kronstein does, however, discuss the stamps.
Facit identifies the stamp as HF 1.
10,000 were printed.
Only 5,452 were sold (vs. Facit quantity of 3,200).
Imperforate copies are reported in mint condition.

At the 25th anniversary of this issue 3,000 (vs. Facit 4,800) stamps that remained unsold
were overprinted with a diagonal imprint "SILVERJUBILEET 1937."
Special cards and cancels were prepared for use on the
25th anniversary flight using the overprinted remainders.

The special Barnens Dag 1912 stamp in violet on this cover
was cancelled with the special cancel in violet.

In addition, the cover is franked with a 1910 10 ore carmine King Gustaf V (Scott 80).
The cover is cancelled with a Stockholm CDS dated September 27
which is probably the date the mail got to the post office.
This date is consistent with the Facit explanation of a flight on September 26.

The cover was forwarded to the destination, Kärrgenfvao (sp?).

The imprinted commercial cover included contents on a
company letterhead indicating that it was being sent by air.
Note that the majority of the mail was special cards
and this commercial cover is probably uncommon.

*Thanks to Knud-ErikAndersen for translating information from Facit.
Now most of the serious contradictions can be resolved.
However, some incomplete and contradictory information remains.

Thanks, too for finding the Sommer airplane page for us.

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