I realized today that airmail envelopes were not designed to be cute. Why is it that all design and craft blogs think they are? I love them. The red and blue stripes on the outside are cheery and look, the ones we sell have airplanes on the envelope liner! Here’s a little history on airmail from wikipedia:
Although homing pigeons had long been used to send messages (an activity known as pigeon mail), the first mail to be carried by an air vehicle was on January 7, 1785, on a hot air balloon flight from Dover to France near Calais. It was carried by flown by Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries. The letter was written by an American Loyalist William Franklin to his son William Temple Franklin who was serving in a diplomatic role in Paris with his grandfather Benjamin Franklin.
During the first aerial flight in North America by balloon on January 9, 1793, from Philadelphia to Deptford, New Jersey, Jean-Pierre Blanchard carried a personal letter from George Washington to be delivered to the owner of whatever property Blanchard happened to land on, making the flight the first delivery of air mail in the United States.
The first official air mail delivery in the United States took place on August 17, 1859, when John Wise piloted a balloon starting in Lafayette, Indiana with a destination of New York. Weather issues forced him to land in Crawfordsville, Indiana and the mail reached its final destination via train. In 1959 the U.S. Postal Service issued a 7 cent stamp commemorating the event
The introduction of the airplane in 1903 generated immediate interest in using them for mail transport. The first official airmail flight was conducted by Fred Wiseman, who carried three letters between Petaluma, California and Santa Rosa, California on 17 February 1911; the world’s second airmail flight came the next day, when French pilot Henri Pequet carried 6,500 letters a distance of 13 km from Allahabad, India to Naini, India, then part of the British Empire.
I’m thinking this is where the design came from, but I don’t actually know. If you do, help us out! Comment below.
P.S. Shop airmail envelopes on Shoplet!