Al J. Engel
Al Engel's Curtiss Hydro Aero-plane, the "Bumble Bee"
"A. J. Engel,

Carrying Mail Over Chautauqua Lake from
Celoron to Mayville, Stopping at Lakewood,
Bemis Point, and Chautauqua, New York."
     This photograph showing Engel on land with his aircraft facing the photographer was shot at Celoron Park. In the background are seen some of the amusement park buildings, long since gone. It was probably taken in 1914.
It is currently on display at the
Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum,
10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Photo courtesy of John D. Voltmann, 4-12-04
Text from Bud Carlson, 4-16-04

U. S. Post Office
Chatauqua, New York

via email from Bud Carlson, 4-14-04
     Met my cousin today at the supermarket and showed him my Engel photos that I had sent to you. He lives in an historic village called Chautauqua, NY which is on Chautuaqua Lake. Don't know if you have heard of this place,but it attracts thousands of people to its location every summer as being a center for culture and arts for over 130 years. Many US Presidents have given lectures there including U S Grant, Roosevelt and Clinton most recently while he was still President. He informed me that a photo of Engel and his hydroplane hangs on the US Post Office wall at Chautauqua. They also have a villiage library with many archives which may be the source for the photo
     Just below you will see a poster from Celoron Park, now long gone, advertising Engel as one of three summer attractions. The amusement park had hired Engel to perform with his aircraft at their shore site, including taking passengers up.
     A little lower you will can read an article from The Chautauquan Weekly of May 28, 1914, that the Celoron Post office arranged with the Post Office Department to allow Engel to carry mail the length of Chautauqua Lake, about 23 miles.

Al J. Engel
Al J. Engel
Photo courtesy of John D. Voltmann, 4-12-04
May 28, 1914
Chautauqua Lake is to Have Novel Mail
Service During the Coming Season-
Mr. Al. J. Engle to be Air Mail Carrier
     Postmaster Potter of Chautauqua has just received formal instructions regarding an aeroplane mail route which will be conducted on Chautauqua Lake the coming season from May 30 to September 7. Aviator Al. J. Engle who made flights in his jhydro-aeroplane from Chautauqua last summer will be in charge of the route and will carry the mail pouches in his water-and-airship, stopping at Chautauqua, Bemis Point, Celoron and Mayville. At each of these points skids will be built at the water's edge so that the airship may haul easily and it is understood that post card stands will be conveniently arranged so that cards may be dispatched without trouble by this mail route.
     The letter authorizing the service will be of interest:
     Washington, D. C. May 26, 1914-
Postmaster, Chautauqua, N. Y.
An order has been issued today on aeroplane mail route No. 609004 which reads as follows:
     The postmasters at Celoron, Bemis Point, Chautauqua, and Mayville, N. Y., are authorized to exchange mails (postal cards only) by hydro-aeroplane as often as practicable from May 30 to September 7, 1914, the mails to be carried in a locked pouch by a sworn carrier without additional expense to the Department.
     Number the route 607,004
     At the end of the period please report the number of pieces of mail carried from and received at your office and the name of the aviator, or the names of the aviators if more than one, performing the service.
                                         Joseph Stewart,
                     Second Asst. Postmaster General.
POST CARD - 1914
     Here is the front of a postcard with Engel's airplane flying above the sailboats and the back with his autograph. It may well be one he carried as part of his airmail.
Photo courtesy of John D. Voltmann, MD, 4-12-04
Text by Bud Carlson, 4-12-04
Al J. Engel
Al J. Engel

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