Compiled by Carolyn Peat
The first commercial use of airplanes was for transporting mail. (May 15, 1918)
. . . Edward Hubbard persuaded Canadian postal authorities to let him fly Orient-bound mail from Seattle to Victoria on steamer days and pick up mail bound for the United States from Canadian Pacific liners just in from the Orient. The service started on March 3, 1919. Thus the Hubbard-Boeing operation might be considered the first private enterprise air mail operation in the country.
The Air Mail Act of 1925 (Kelly Act) was the first major piece of legislation created by Congress in 1925 that would effect the aviation industry.
This service formed the basis for the US airline industry that was to follow.
This was the start of the US airline industry.
. . . which is the foundation for the domestic commercial airline industry in the United States.
April 21, 1927
First civilian mail arrives from Cleveland in “Miss Youngstown,” piloted by Merle Moltrup.
First civilian air mail leaves Bettis Field in “Miss McKeesport” for Cleveland.
Dewey Noyes, another of the air mail pilots, was not present [at the
banquet] owing to the fact that he piloted one of the ships back to
Cleveland in the afternoon.
William P. McCracken, Jr. (second assistant secretary of commerce)
congratulated those who had assisted in establishing the route, and the
city upon having men of vision to put over the project. True, Mr. Ball
and Mr. Peat carry the bulk of the burden he said, but when you
find organizations voluntarily upheld by patriotism great progress will be
Sequence of arrival at Bettis Field from Cleveland air field:
Merle A. Moltrup
Kenneth "Curly" Lovejoy
|Battling through a heavy, blinding rainstorm, driven by a high side-wind, “Miss McKeesport” was the last of the three planes to arrive at Bettis field. Delay was caused by the fact that flyers on the transcontinental route were behind time, owing to the storm, and Lovejoy laid over at Cleveland to receive the air mail from that route.|