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Peter Hubicki letter

 Collection — Box: SFC3 [F09.090.03.01], Folder: 397
Identifier: MS0397

Scope and Contents

Consists of single item — the first airmail letter sent from Charlotte, North Carolina; addressed to Donald E. Dickason of Wooster, Ohio; dated April 1, 1930. The envelope was never opened.


  • 1930


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The first authorized U.S. mail flights occurred in September and October, 1911 by authorization of Frank Hitchcock, the Postmaster General. Hitchcock believed airmail had potential and wanted to investigate its feasibility, which led him to authorize the first test routes which went from Garden City Estates, NY to Mineola, NY on Long Island. In 1918, the Post Office officially began scheduled airmail service from New York to Washington, D.C. For the first three months, the Post Office used Army pilots and six Army planes to make their deliveries. However, on August 12, 1918, the Post Office took over all aspects of the airmail service and hired civilian pilots and purchased six specially built planes from the Standard Aircraft Corporation. The first transcontinental route opened on September 8, 1920 between New York and San Francisco and contained four different legs with multiple stops in between for pilots to fly and pass off their mail at each stop.

In order to make full use of the speed airmail could offer, the Post Office decided to develop night flying. The office outfitted its planes with luminescent instruments, navigational lights and parachute flares. It also began building a lighted airway along the transcontinental route to help guide the pilots. Regular cross-country night flying began on July 1, 1924 between New York and San Francisco and included sixteen stops for service and the exchange of mail. In 1926, the Post Office began contracting with private aviation companies for airmail service and pilots such as Charles Lindbergh flew the mail between Chicago and St. Louis as the chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Corporation.

In the days before passenger service, the revenue private companies earned through airmail helped sustain them and prevent the companies from going bankrupt. The first piece of mail to be airmailed from Charlotte was dated April 1, 1930 and addressed to Donald Dickason of Wooster, Ohio. Airmail as a separate class of domestic mail officially ended on May 1, 1977 after the Postal Service annouced in 1975 that First-Class postage, which was cheaper, would buy the same or better level of service.



0.01 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The first airmail letter sent from Charlotte, North Carolina; addressed to Donald E. Dickason of Wooster, Ohio; dated April 1, 1930.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Peter Hubicki in 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes.

Peter Hubicki letter
Robert A. McInnes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

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