William Boeing and Eddie Hubbard make first U.S. delivery of international airmail on March 3, 1919.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 11/23/1998
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 373
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On March 3, 1919, Willam E. Boeing (1881-1956) and Eddie Hubbard (1889-1928) make the first delivery of international airmail to the United States. The men fly a Boeing-built C-700 seaplane for the demonstration trip from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Seattle's Lake Union, carrying a bag of 60 letters from the Canadian post office for delivery in the U.S. Their flight is the first international airmail service in North America.

Like Boeing, Eddie Hubbard had taken his first flight with daredevil Terah Maroney and earned his license from Boeing's Pacific Aero Club. William Boeing was not initially interested in airmail, but he changed his mind as his company's military orders dwindled after the end of World War I.

Following this first successful flight, Hubbard purchased a Boeing-built B-I seaplane for routine airmail service between Victoria, B.C., and Seattle. He later prevailed on Boeing to compete for the Chicago-San Francisco route, and thereby planted the seed for Boeing's future dominance in air transport.


Peter M. Bowers, Boeing Aircraft Since 1916 (London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1993), 44-51; Jim Brown, Hubbard, The Forgotten Boeing Aviator (Seattle: Peanut Butter Publishing, 1996), 1-39; Boeing Historical Archives, Year By Year, 75 Years of Boeing History, 1916-1991 (Seattle: Boeing Co., 1991), 3; "Edward Willits Hubbard (1889-1928)," Early Aviators website accessed March 3, 2017 (http://earlyaviators.com/ehubbard.htm); Randy Alfred, "March 3, 1919: U.S. Starts International Airmail Service," March 3, 2009, Wired website accessed March 3, 2017 (http://archive.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2009/03/dayintech_0303).
Note: This essay was corrected on August 13, 2002, and revised on March 3, 2017.

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