History group to host air mail celebration

Saturday’s celebration will mark 100 years since nation’s first regularly scheduled air mail delivery.

The Friends of Northeast Philadelphia History will be sponsoring a centennial celebration of the nation’s first regularly scheduled air mail delivery on Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Haldeman Avenue and Red Lion Road.

The first airplane mail carrier landed on Wednesday, May 15, 1918, at Bustleton Field, with U.S. Army Lt. Torrey Webb bringing mail from New York’s Belmont Park.

The same day, Army Lt. Paul Culver departed Bustleton Field to deliver mail to New York.

Lt. James Edgerton was also at Bustleton Field, flying mail from Philadelphia and New York to Washington, D.C.

Bustleton Field was on a 150-acre farm near Haldeman and Red Lion. It was open from 1918–21, closing when air travel improved to the point that there was no need for a stop between New York and Washington.

On Saturday, a historical marker will be unveiled at noon.

The day will also include a performance by the Big Easy Brass Band, a stamp cancellation, commemorative T-shirt sales, aviation displays and exhibits, mail trivia, Morse Code telegram transmitting and appearances by Boy Scouts and the Northeast Philadelphia Radio Control Club.

For more information, visit 1stairmail.com ••