Today in Postal History




Argentina to United States
October 12, 1929

This airmail (and, incidentally, first day) cover was carried on the
first return flight of Foreign Air Mail Route 9's extension to Buenos Aires.
F.A.M. 9 was first flown by Panagra (Pan American-Grace Airways, Inc.)
between Cristobal, Canal Zone, and Mollenda, Peru, May 17-20, 1929.

It connected with F.A.M. 8 flown by Pan American Airways, Inc. from
Cristobal to Brownsville, Texas, through Central American and Mexico.

As first inaugurated, F.A.M. 9 flew along most of the west coast of South America.
On July 16, 1929, the route was extended to Santiago, Chile.
This flight over the Andes was the next extension.
The outbound flight left Cristobal on October 8 although covers from there are postmarked October 7.

This cover is one of the 3,897 covers dispatched by Buenos Aires on the return flight.
Most were destined for the United States with less than 20 being sent to any of the intermediate stops.

In addition to the old English handstamp First Flight on the front,
there was a special slogan machine cancel on the rear for Buenos Aires E. dated OCT 12.
The slogan is
12 OCTUBRE | INAUGURACION LINEA AEROPOSTAL | VIA PACIFICO | BUENOS AIRES-NEUVA - YORK.

The routing from Brownsville to New York City was on three Contract Air Mail Routes.
C.A.M. Route 22 flew from Brownsville to Dallas - Fort Worth.
From there it would have flown north to Chicago on C.A.M. 3 and then to New York via C.A.M. 17.

It would be interesting to have transit marks for this flight but there are none.

The cover is franked with seven 12c dull blue "America" offering laurels
to Columbus from the 437th Anniversary of the discovery of America
by Columbus issued on October 12, 1929 (Scott 373).
There is also one 5c light red "Spain" and "Argentina" from the same issue (Scott 372).
The rate of 90c was completed with a 1927 1c buff San Martin (Scott 363).

These stamps were cancelled with 6 VIA AEREA CDS from Buenos Aires.

The sender typed VIA AEREA " P A N A G R A" to identify the routing.
The addressee was in the headquarters offices of Pan American Airways, Inc.  in New York City.

Covers from Pan American flights were routinely sent to headquarters by field personnel
and many became available when Pan American files were sold after the company's bankruptcy.

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