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[[image - postage stamp of Pilatre de Rozie with an air balloon and building]]

FIRST PERSON TO FLY in a balloon, (1783) Pilatre de Rozier was shown on a French stamp issued in 1936.

glance through a stamp collection will bring vivid and fascinating memories to everyone who ever has read a newspaper in the last two decades. The airpost collector has an intimate knowledge and acquaintance with this pageant for he has bright souvenis of events which he recalls and about which he reads reports published by the contemporary press.

That's the keynote of airpost collecting. It is a contemporary quest. Except for the Paris balloon mail and the Great Barrier pigeon-post and perhaps a few of the very early pioneers, the stamps and covers which make up an air-mail collection were issued and flown during the lifetime of most persons who read these comments. The material we have in our albums, then becomes a tangible memento of some achievement which occurred in our time. We know them, not through history texts nor through research in musty tomes from a library shelf-but through newspapers and radio accounts. And because aviation, and thus air-mail, history still is being made from day to day, this field offers a greater opportunity than any other in the whole realm of philately. If you decided to taste the joys of airpost collecting right now, you could begin today with an event that took place last week-or yesterday-and then keep abreast of advancements as you continue. Or you may back-track and pick up stamps and covers that relate to those special events which stand out in your memory. Airpost collecting
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact