Jenny Delivers the First Airmail
In the early years of the twentieth century, the world was full of change and conflict. Horse-drawn carriages were replaced by Model Ts.Women fought for the right to vote. WWI introduced an astounding technological development in warfare. More than 100,000 American soldiers died in war; not from battle, but from the Spanish Flu. This caused such a fear on the American home front that mail carriers started wearing masks when making their deliveries.
During that time, postal officials were working on a new development called ‘airmail’ and the new service was inaugurated in 1918. The army supervised the project and utilized modified Jennys for the new service. The project was such a huge event that President Woodrow Wilson and other important officials were present to witness the first airmail flight.
As with most new things, the first flight was not without it’s blunders. Lt. George Boyle was the first pilot to take part in the new airmail program even though he had very little flying experience and likely obtained the position due to family contacts. Alas, experience proved to be a necessity and, after taking off in the wrong direction, Boyle crash-landed his plane onto nearby farmland. The mail was then put on a train for the remainder of the trip.
Luckily, future deliveries were more successful and airmail became the future.