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'Old 249'The Smithsonian National Postal Museum is a little known repository of valuable history pertaining to the U.S. Air Mail Service. Opened in 1993, its atrium prominently displays AMP s maximus opus, "old 249." That is the DH-4 AMP members labored over for long months to refurbish and which William J. Hackbarth flew along the transcontinental route to celebrate the Service s 50th anniversary.

Double click here for up-to-date photo of "old 249."

"Old 249" isn t the only reason to make the trip to Washington, DC, to visit the museum or to access it on its outstanding website:  Journalists, historians and aviation buffs find a plethora of research information in the museum s collection of American postal officials private papers. Of special interest to AMP is the Benjamin B. Lipsner Airmail Collection.  To go right to air mail history, click airmail.

Museum PosterThis is how the Postal Museum describes the Lipsner Collection:

"This collection contains material relating to the career of Captain B. Benjamin Lipsner and his involvement in the development of the first permanent air mail service. Much of the collection came to the museum on a set of exhibition panels Lipsner had created and displayed at various commemorative air mail functions and conferences. Most of the material is related to the period between May and December of 1918, spanning the period of Lipsner's official involvement with the Air Mail Service. The collection includes letters, covers, telegrams, schedules, photographs, and documents."

The museum also displays historical posters, such as these above, as well as a fine collection of airmail photos. Among its attractions for the aviation history buff or scholar are comprehensive histories of the U.S. Air Mail Service and the de Havilland planes it flew.


 

 

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copyright 1999 Nancy Allison Wright, President Air Mail Pioneers


 
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