Airmail that failed to fly

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NEW on the website are several examples of what are known as the Wayzata Airmail of Newfoundland.

This ‘stamp’ has a fascinating history. It is not listed by Gibbons but is mentioned in the Scott’s catalogues.

 In 1932 a company, Arial World Airways, persuaded the Newfoundland government to issue a stamp to finance the purchase of a plane which was to fly from Wayzata in Minnesota via Newfoundland to England.

The vehicle they wanted to buy was a Sikorsky seaplane and they stationed one, shown here, at Wayzata Bay as part of the publicity drive. The plan was that the company would pay the Newfoundland government $80,000 for permission to print 400,000 airmail stamps, each having a face value of $1.

The stamps would be used on mail making the transatlantic voyage and would have been cancelled at St John’s, Newfoundland, which was where the plane was to  have taken off for its Atlantic crossing.

The stamps were printed in Minnesota in sheets of 20 and delivered to Newfoundland where they went on sale, mainly to philatelists.

Sales were slow, and the whole thing ground to a halt.

Of the 400,000 stamps printed 375,000 were ordered to be destroyed so they are pretty scarce. We have a couple of singles, pairs, and blocks.

Take a look of them by clicking here.