100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Postmarked August 11, 1912

Air shows have become a popular venue for people to experience flight for the first time. Reformers taking aim at America’s vices had shut down a majority of the racetracks in the US by outlawing wagering and the tracks were looking for new ways to generate income. With their grandstand seating, holding air show was a natural fit. Demonstrations of airmail took place at these events where patrons would pay for the novelty of having a letter or postcard flown a short distance.

Smaller exhibition also took place sometimes sponsored by businesses seeking promotion. They would land at fairgrounds and…..country clubs. Withe there expansive grounds and wealthy patrons it was a fit for this novel event. At the Tanforan International Air Show of 1911 in Northern California, where the first bomb was every dropped from an airplane, Glenn Curtiss, aviation pioneer and fearless promoter, arranged for a pilot to land an airplane on the golf course of a local country club where famed opera star Louisa Tetrazzini (for whom Turkey Tetrazzini is named) burst into song as Lohengrin complete with swan to a delighted crowd and press.

On August 11, 1912 aviator flew from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington carrying letters for a country club exhibition.

Country club air mail letter


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