Click on The Thumbnail to Visit The Source Website
and to View a Full Size Image

     If you search for "Thomas McGoey", using the Google search engine, (9-26-07), you will find about 189 links. You will find numerous links to pages which refer to a "Thomas McGoey,", but I can't tell if they are referring to the aviator.

Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU Libraries, Fargo
     . This is the source of the thumbnail image which you have seen at the top of this page. In addition to a beautiful full size image, you will find other biographical detail of considerable interest. You can access it by clicking on the title above.

Canadian First Airmail?
     "Sometime prior to 1950, a Canadian cover was discovered bearing an intriguing cachet that read FROM WINNIPEG | BY FIRST AERIAL ROUTE | THOMAS McGOEY, AVIATOR. The envelope was postmarked at Winnipeg, Manitoba at 9:30 A.M. on May 10, 1912, and was addressed to Toronto. To it a date stamp was also applied at Grand View, Ontario, on May 14. This cover stirs many questions. Was it actually flown? If so, it is an extremely early pioneer example from Canada. Who undertook the flight? Pilot Thomas McGoey was ill in Grand Forks North Dakota, at the time the letter was supposed to have departed Winnipeg.
     Whether the McGoey letter flew or not, it remains clear that the airmail bug had bitten at least a few Canadians as early as May 1912."

     This quotation was accompanied by the following comment:

"Editor's Note: This came from Donald B. Holmes' Air Mail -- an illustrated history 1793-1981 - an exceptional piece of philatelic literature. It seems quite likely that someone may have created a hoax at a later date and that the cachet was applied to a cover found in some dealer's dime box somewhere."

     You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

McGoey Wreck - Langdon, N.D. - Aug. 10, 1911
Collection of Roy Nagl, 2-22-06
Wreckage of Thomas McGoey's Aeroplane
     This page on the "back n" website displays a rare postcard photo of the wreck of his plane in Langdon, North Dakota on August 10, 1911. You will find a few brief biographical notes pertaining to the photo. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

     On the HISTORY page, which is reached by clicking on "AIRPORT INFORMATION" (at the bottom of the homepage), you will find a Timeline which spans the period 1911 to 2003. Included at the very top is this very helpful biographical note on McGoey:
"Thomas McGoey "The Birdman", flying a Curtiss Pusher, makes the first flight in Duluth at Athletic Park on October 15, with 15,000 in observance. A week prior to the Duluth flight, McGoey makes two successful flights across the bay in Superior Wisconsin.
     This thumbnail biography of McGoey is one of the most informative I have found on the net, You can access the page by clicking on the title above and following the directions or by clicking directly on "HISTORY" above.
     I think you will probably want to review the other high points on the timeline. You will find a number of names and photographs of other pioneer aviators including Tony Jannus, Robert W. "Bill" Watt and Leonard J. Bemke, Walter Bullock, and many others.

American Air Mail Catalogue
Quotation courtesy of Roy Nagl, 2-4-06
Dear Ralph:
Thank you very much for letting me know about your new web page for Thomas McGoey! I was especially intrigued about the mention of his air mail flight and looked up the entry for it in volume four of the 1981 edition of the "American Air Mail Catalogue", which gives the following description of it, on page 1654:

"1912, May 10 -- Winnipeg, Manitoba. An Air Circus was held in Winnipeg for the entire week. On May 10 it was expected that one of the plots, Thomas McGoey, would fly mail in his machine. The mail afterwards was to be posted at the local Post Office. It is understood he had the authority of the Postmaster to do this. A card, the only item now known to exist, is addressed to Toronto, Ont. It is postmarked Winnipeg, May 10, 9:30 A.M., 1912, and is also canceled Grand View, Ont., May 14, 1912. The card has a three-line rubber stamp cachet reading "From Winnipeg -- By First Aerial Route -- Thomas McGoey, Aviator." Aviator Sam Tickell flew a Curtiss biplane and crashed. However, McGoey was ill in a hospital at Grand Forks, N. Dak. and did not reach Winnipeg until May 24. It is not definitely known whether Tickell carried mail on his attempt of May 10 or whether it was dispatched via ordinary means on the failure of McGoey to arrive."

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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