While celebrating 50 years of research and resources of the American Philatelic Research Library another highlight of the Golden Anniversary Celebration event will be the opportunity to meet and discuss the latest publications written by two authors that will conduct signing sessions of their new works during the day on Saturday November 3.
Coinciding with the centenary of both U.S. airmail service and the issuance of the first U.S. air mail stamps, one author explores the authenticity of first day covers for the first three U.S. air post stamps (C1-C3) using new research and sources, while the other still in keeping with air mail history presents a recently updated and revised edition of a book on the local history of the first U.S. transcontinental air mail service.
Dating back to before early 2003, acclaimed author, columnist and researcher Ken Lawrence has been compiling a census of first day covers (FDCs) of the three U.S. air post issues of 1918, C1-C3. This census was compiled in an attempt to examine the genuineness of these FDCs due to the belief that the sale of some of these first air post stamps took place before the inaugural flights of 1918.
Lawrence’s monograph First Day Covers of the 1918 Air Post Stamps — Or are They?, recently published by the American First Day Cover Society, investigates an earlier 51-page work by Joe Kirker in 2014, United States Airmail Stamps of 1918: History and Analysis of First Day of Sale Postal Use, analyzing and comparing Kirker’s findings with those unearthed by Lawrence using a variety of fresh resources not available to either Lawrence in 2003 or Kirker in 2014. The result is a detailed and fresh look at the authenticity question with the most complete collection of color images of the known 1918 air post FDCs to date.
Also of interest to air mail historians, back in 2007 author Kathleen “Kitty” Wunderly published a book of both local interest and national air mail postal history. Now in 2018 Wunderly has updated and revised her original work, Bellefonte and the Early Air Mail 1918-1927, to include more of the local flavor and personal stories along with new photographs depicting the role Bellefonte, Pennsylvania played in this part of national air mail history.
In the earliest days of U.S. transcontinental air mail service Bellefonte, a small town in central Pennsylvania, became a major refueling stop for the biplanes flying the mail both on route from New York to Cleveland. In fact after building a permanent airfield a few months after it came into service, Bellefonte became the only scheduled stop in Pennsylvania for the early U.S. air mail.
Using contemporary newspaper articles and numerous photographs (many from the APRL’s Daniel Hines Air Mail Collection Archive) Wunderly’s new book offers a unique, local viewpoint into one of the most exciting periods of national history including many personal stories of the pilots who flew in the early days of U.S. air mail.
Both Ken Lawrence and Kitty Wunderly will be available for further discussion and for the signing of their new publications. Book and monograph signings will take place in the Front Lobby of the American Philatelic Center (Kitty Wunderly 11 a.m. – noon; Ken Lawrence 2:30-3:30 p.m.) Check the Golden Anniversary Celebration page for a detailed schedule and make plans to join us for these and other events as part of the day’s festivities.