History & Tourism

Letter Arrives In Mansfield By ‘Aeroplane’: 1912

26 Apr , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

As historians know, Mansfield has a connection to the early days of aviation, primarily in the person of Frank Lahm, the “nation’s first military aviator.”

Lahm worked alongside the Wright Brothers not long after their December 1903 initial flight to create and perfect the country’s first military-related airplanes. Lahm’s career is storied, and can be read in detail on this Wikipedia page.

Flying was still somewhat of novelty in the first 20 years of the 20th century, becoming increasingly safer and able to undertake longer flights and with more people aboard. Once such improvement came in the form of transporting cargo on airplanes, beginning with airmail.

The first official airmail flight by airplane actually took place in India in February of 1911. As that decade went on, delivering mail in this manner transformed the US postal industry.

So in June of 1912, airmail was still in its infancy, and getting a letter delivered by plane was something unique. Imagine, therefore, when a four-year-old Mansfield girl, Carolyn Lorenzen, received an airmail postcard.

So much a novelty, in fact, that the postmark on the card read, “Mansfield, O. Mailed by Aeroplane June 8 ‘12”

Young Carolyn was the daughter of Edward and Anna Lorenzen and lived at what was then 51 Boughton Avenue. The house was still standing at the time of the last pass-by by Google Maps, the last house on the west side of the street south of Fifth Street.

Edward worked at Ohio Brass, and Carolyn was the couple’s only child. By 1920, the Lorenzens had moved to Sandusky, where Carolyn died in 1998. She has living descendants today.

Eventually, the postcard made it into the collection of the New York City Public Library.

Sources: Ancestry.com, Wikipedia, National Postal Museum; Photo Credit: Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 24, 2021. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-b141-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

, , ,


Comments are closed.