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America's Air Mail Routes in the Year Before it Entered World War II.

Attractive vintage map of airmail service relevant to the United States, in December of 1940.

The map includes the following insets:

  • Alaska-Canada
  • Hawaiian Islands
  • Trans-Pacific Routes
  • Trans-Atlantic Routes
  • Latin America.

Periodic Updates 

The first similar air mail map which we could identify was issued in 1938, under the title:  "Domestic air mail service in the United States."    

Rumsey notes a March 1, 1939 map entitled "Domestic & Foreign Air Mail Service United States Post Office Department," which seems to be the pre-cursor to this 1940 map.  There are significantly more routes on the present map.  

The Rumsey collection includes an edition of this map dated December 19, 1941, which includes additional routes and stops, including:

  • Great Falls, Montana to Cut Bank Shelby to Lethbridge.
  • Salem, Oregon and Medford Oregon
  • Springfield, Illinois to Bloomington, Illinois, to Chicago.
  • Chicago to Muskegon, Michigan
  • South Bend-Mishawaka, Indiana to Toledo, Ohio
  • Toledo to Akron, Ohio
  • Pittsburg to Wheeling WV to Charleston-Dunbar, WV
  • Charleston-Dunbar to Johnson City-Kingport Bristol, Tennessee
  • Evansville, Indiana to Louisville
  • Cincinnati to Lexington, Kentucky to Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Chattanooga, Tennesee to Knoxville
  • Montgomery, Alabama to Columbus, Georgia
  • Birmingham, Alabama to Chattanooga, Tennesee
  • Shreveport, Louisiana to Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennesssee.
  • Charlotte, NC to Roanoke, Virginia
  • Charlotte to Winston Salem, NC to Richmond, Virginia
  • Houston, Texas to Shreveport
  • Bangor, Maine to Moncton-Shediac Nova Scotia.
  • Buffalo to Toronto
  • Niagara Falls to Windsor
  • Philadelphia to Cleveland
  • Philadelphia to Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey to Baltimore
  • Atlantic City to New York
  • Atlantic City ot Philadelphia
  • Bermuda to Horta (Azores)
  • Bermuda to South America
  • Manila to Singapore

As well as the removal of certain routes, including:

  • Joplin, Missouri


The present example is dated December 1, 1940 and is extremely rare.   We were unable to locate any other examples of the map, other than the examples we acquired from the Lloyd Welch Pogue collection (see below).


Lloyd Welch Pogue (October 21, 1899 – May 10, 2003) American aviation lawyer and chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board. Pogue, a native of Grant, Iowa, was instrumental in forming the policy structure that led civil aviation through World War II and into the booming Post-War Period. He was appointed Chairman of the CAB by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and he served as Chairman until 1946. During his tenure Pogue helped strike down a plan for a single world airline.