Untitled Document

Early American Airmail Envelopes

Many people are under the impression that the envelopes illustrated on these pages were created for stamp collectors and the making of covers. While that is true for the Special Flight envelopes, it is not the case for the majority of the envelopes. They do not realize that Air Mail was a somewhat new phenomenon and that these envelopes were largely created for the public to purchase. They were distinctive to aid the postal employees in sorting the air mail from the regular mail when it was received for processing.

The reason most of the illustrations you will view are on philatelic covers is that people did not keep their ordinary mail. Those envelopes used by stamp collectors had additional cachets applied to them and are considered collectible. That is why many of these fantastic envelopes still exist.

I created this page due to my astonishment at the number of varieties of printed airmail envelopes used in the United States during the 1920s through the 1970s, and out of boredom.

I needed a break from my major collecting interests and concentrated on a side-line interest that involved event covers from the 1930s. At the time, I had no idea there had been so many airmail envelope designs available to the public, and how attractive many of them are.

All of the images portrayed show the original cover on the left, and a digitally reworked image on the right. They are the same envelopes with the non-printed text and images removed, and the covers "cleaned" up. It is surprising how much of the printed envelope design one does not see in the images on the left.

Please note that I am not a dealer and do not have items for sale. While I own some of these covers, others I do not and either copied the images off of the Internet, or was sent them by other collectors. I do not own any of the zepplin covers. There may be inscriptions on the reverse of some of the envelopes, giving information as to who designed them, but if I do not have the cover I do not have that information.

At this point I have illustrated a few foreign Airmail envelopes as well as they are generally quite different from ours.

If anyone can provide more information on any of the designs it would be appreciated and I will post what I think is relevant. It would be great to be able to identify those designs that did not have identifying text on the back of the envelopes.





February 1, 1927.


Frames Around the Edges

More Airmail Envelopes

Red and Blue Striped Edges

Red and Blue Striped Envelopes

Special Event and Airline Envelopes

Trans-Pacific Envelopes

Problem Envelopes

Air Mail Etiquettes

Homemade Airmail Envelopes

Interesting Foreign Envelopes


" />