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Wallingford’s First (and Only) Air Mail Flight

1938 6¢ Bicolored Eagle

National Air Mail Week, 1938

Postmaster General James Farley and President Roosevelt proclaimed May 15-21, 1938 to be a week-long commemoration of the 20th anniversary of US airmail service in an effort to spark increased use of the airmail.

A new 6¢ airmail stamp was issued and Farley asked that every US citizen send an airmail letter during the week. The slogan was “Receive Tomorrow’s Mail Today.”

Towns were encouraged to create unique “cachets,” commemorative designs printed or stamped on the envelopes. The idea was popular and towns across the country planned events and created as many as 10,000 cachets.

Special Wallingford Cachet

Thursday, May 19, was designated as the celebration day. Postmasters headed up the planning, finding landing fields and submitting their plans for approval to their state’s Department of Aeronautics. Postmasters also sought out volunteer pilots to pick up the mail.

Nether Providence and Media held a joint celebration which began at 2:00 PM at the Media Aviation Field, today’s Wallingford Summit neighborhood (Woodcrest, Ridgewood, and Grandview Roads). The autogyro that arrived to pick up the mail was met by Judge John M. Broomall and the Media and Nether Providence High Schools’ bands. Local postmasters Matthew Fox of Media and Stafford Parker of Wallingford and Burgess of Media Crosby Smith comprised the Welcoming Committee.

The Journal, student newspaper of Nether Providence High School, reported, “…students left school at 1:00…so that they could witness the only air mail pick-up in the history of Wallingford. …After the autogyro took off, four Navy pursuit planes circled the field twice and then returned to Philadelphia.” Continue reading