First airmail pilot owns the only airport in Santa Barbara.
Typed letter signed: "Earle Ovington", 1p, 8½x11. Santa
Barbara, California, 1924 January 14. To Curtis Freshel, New York City.
In part: "I'll 'sell' you on Santa Barbara when you come and make you
dissatisfied with any other place. Things have gone wonderfully with me. My
subdivision was a great success, lots which I sold for $1,295 are now $2,195 and
some higher...Have gone in for aviation again - just for the fun of it. Own two
airplanes and am Commodore of the Santa Barbara Aero Club. Incidentally, I own
the only airfield in the city. I fly instead of go round the country in a
car. Hopped down to Los Angeles the other day (100 miles) in just an hour.
What I can't see is, why has not the airplane come into use more?...."
Earle Ovington (1879-1936), an aeronautical engineer and early
barnstorming pilot, carried the first mail (640 letters and 1,280 postcards)
by air. After a journey of 5½ miles above Long Island on September 23, 1911,
Ovington dropped the mailbag from a height of 500 feet. Creased. Folds, one
vertical touches the last "e" in Earle. Lower right corner missing. Erased
pencil notations at upper left corner.
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