Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Malcolm R. Eiseler


When man first learned to write, his primary objective was to have his message delivered as quickly as possible. Consequently, in ancient civilizations runners transported clay tablets from city to city, and ships sailed the known seas and rivers carrying in their holds precious cargoes of the written word. As methods of transportation were improved, the speed and safety by which communication could be relayed was likewise advanced. In fact, within the evolution of transportation progress it is possible to trace the importance and the influence of the mails. Runners were succeeded by horsemen or coaches, primitive board by modern steamers, horses and coach by locomotives, and now comes the airplane.


The story of the Air Mail Service is the story of the conquest of a new frontier, a frontier which, like all its predecessors, has yielded grudgingly but surely to Man's indomitable courage and resourceful intelligence. The story is filled with visionary dreams, bitter disappointments, and encouraging realizations. It contains elements of romance, heroism, and intrigue, and throughout its course runs the thread of Man's unquenchable desire to overcome those physical barriers which have so long restricted him to mere surface travel upon the earth. To the casual observer this particular phase of mail transportation is comparatively new, but viewed from the perspective of history it is merely the modern link in the long chain of mail communication devices. Thus, the story is not ended, but is in a constant state of expansion, and the present phase of it would seem to indicate that the future will produce a chapter more startling than any that has yet been revealed.





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