Carrying three letters, groceries, and copies of the local newspaper, Fred Wiseman piloted a plane between Petaluma to San...
On Saturday, February 19, the Postal Museum celebrated the centennial of airmail beneath the Wiseman-Cooke airplane with a...
When Fred Wiseman flew over a farm on his airmail flight, a woman in a field below waved her dishtowel at him. He threw he...
Visitors enjoyed waving their dishtowels with a re-enactor and imagining what it must have been like to see the flight in ...
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of airmail, visitors envisioned airmail in the year 2111, building prototypes of their ...
Futuristic airmail plane prototypes created by visitors. Kids explained how their planes were fast, safe, reliable, green,...
An airmail plane designer shows off her prototype.<br />
Visitors created postcards to commemorate the centennial of airmail. <br />
Even Smithsonian curators debate which of many early flights was “the first airmail flight.” Instead of debating which fli...
Which flight won the visitors’ popular vote? An 1859 flight in an airmail balloon beat the Wiseman-Cooke flight by only a ...
A fun scavenger hunt helped visitors track which activities they tried and win a prize.<br />A volunteer regaled visitors ...
Learn more about the Wiseman-Cooke flight and other early airmail flights at www.postalmuseum.si.edu<br />
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Celebrating the Centennial of Airmail at the National Postal Museum

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Carrying three letters, groceries, and copies of the local newspaper, Fred Wiseman piloted a plane between Petaluma to Santa Rosa, California, possibly the first airmail flight! He took off on February 17, 1911, but made a forced landing due to engine trouble. He completed the flight the next day. The Smithsonian National Postal Museum celebrated his flight with a family festival on Saturday, February 19, 2011. Enjoy photos and anecdotes from the day!

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Celebrating the Centennial of Airmail at the National Postal Museum

  1. 1. Carrying three letters, groceries, and copies of the local newspaper, Fred Wiseman piloted a plane between Petaluma to Santa Rosa, California, possibly the first airmail flight! He took off on February 17, 1911, but made a forced landing due to engine trouble. He completed the flight the next day. <br />
  2. 2. On Saturday, February 19, the Postal Museum celebrated the centennial of airmail beneath the Wiseman-Cooke airplane with a family festival.<br />
  3. 3. When Fred Wiseman flew over a farm on his airmail flight, a woman in a field below waved her dishtowel at him. He threw her a copy of the Press-Democrat newspaper, making her the first recipient of airmail! Visitors decorated dishtowels with encouraging messages.<br />
  4. 4. Visitors enjoyed waving their dishtowels with a re-enactor and imagining what it must have been like to see the flight in action.<br />
  5. 5. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of airmail, visitors envisioned airmail in the year 2111, building prototypes of their ideas.<br />
  6. 6. Futuristic airmail plane prototypes created by visitors. Kids explained how their planes were fast, safe, reliable, green, and able to carry lots of mail.<br />
  7. 7. An airmail plane designer shows off her prototype.<br />
  8. 8. Visitors created postcards to commemorate the centennial of airmail. <br />
  9. 9. Even Smithsonian curators debate which of many early flights was “the first airmail flight.” Instead of debating which flight was first, visitors voted which of four flights was “awesomest.”<br />
  10. 10. Which flight won the visitors’ popular vote? An 1859 flight in an airmail balloon beat the Wiseman-Cooke flight by only a few votes. Above: a photograph of the flight and a piece of mail carried on it.<br />
  11. 11. A fun scavenger hunt helped visitors track which activities they tried and win a prize.<br />A volunteer regaled visitors with stories and videos of early airmail flights.<br />
  12. 12. Learn more about the Wiseman-Cooke flight and other early airmail flights at www.postalmuseum.si.edu<br />

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