first official air mail service in the U.S. took place on May 15, 1918. Twenty years later Postmaster General James.
A. Farley came up with an idea to promote air mail service and aid struggling
airline companies through a week-long celebration.
Air Mail Week was a country-wide campaign to show the efficiency of sending
letters and packages via air service. A
new 6-cent red, white and blue stamp featuring an eagle was unveiled for the
10,000 postal locations participated in the special event by designing unique
cover envelopes to be used during the week of May 15-21, 1938. Rosman
Postmaster L.V. Sigmon requested the slogan, “Come Visit Beautiful Sylvan
Valley” for airmail envelopes leaving from Rosman. Throughout the week letters
postmarked Rosman were delivered to Greenville and Spartanburg first, then sent
by air to their destination.
May 19 was designated as the day when special flights from participating
cities and towns would deliver mail across the United States by air. This was accomplished by enlisting volunteer
pilots as postal service employees for one day.
|Floyd Brown’s J5 Travelair plane prepares to depart from Rosman.
“Dr. Osborne’s Movie Reels of Rosman 1930’s Through 1960’s”
includes two short clips from the special day.
Floyd Brown was greeted by a large crowd when he arrived at Dr. Joe Osborne’s
airfield in Rosman at 1:12 pm. Postmasters from Brevard, Pisgah Forest, Balsam
Grove and Highlands joined in a short ceremony and send off of letters on the
first air mail flight from Transylvania County.
departed at 1:25 pm with 425 letters weighing fifteen pounds, ten ounces which
were delivered to the Asheville-Hendersonville Airport. From there the letters were combined with
other air mail from Western North Carolina to continue on its route via Charlotte.
week-long event proved to be very successful as over 16 million letters
and 9,000 parcels were delivered throughout the country. Collecting the special cover envelopes has
become a popular hobby. If anyone has
one of the cover envelopes from Rosman please contact the Local History Room at
and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at