Monday, December 8, 2008

First official postal balloon airmail flight

American John Wise (1808-1879) transported the first official U.S. airmail in a locked U.S. mailbag (123 letters and 23 circulars) aboard his hot-air balloon "Jupiter" from from Lafayette, Indiana to Crawfordsville, Indiana (he had hoped to reach New York City, to which the mail was addressed, or Philadelphia but lack of wind shortened the trip.) Upon landing, Wise transferred the mailbag to a railroad postal agent, who put it aboard a train to New York.

First day cover of a stamp issued in 1959 to commemorate centenary of the first balloon mail.

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