1932 London Stephen Smith cover
The First Flight from Karachi to Madras by Tata Sons Ltd., Aviation Department on 15 October 1932 was historic in many respects. In a sense it marked the birth of Indian Civil Aviation in the true sense. The schedule was arranged so that the mail arrived from Croydon on the incoming flight the previous evening at Karachi, and was picked up by the Tata service to depart early the next morning. After stops at Ahmedabad and Bombay, the flight halted overnight at Bellary, and continued the next morning on to Madras. J.R.D. Tata piloted the first flight from Karachi to Bombay, and Neville Vintcent onward to Madras.
This event is also very special to Airmails collectors, and there are many beautiful and exciting items to be collected here. I had prepared a 5 frame exhibit which I displayed in Melbourne 2017 and you can see it by clicking the link here.
This cover is perhaps unique, and I always use this expression with some amount of trepidation. It was handcrafted by Stephen Smith, and is a Type 1a and Type 2 combination cover. This is special for a variety of reasons; Handcrafted by Stephen H. Smith - only known example to me; Only example of mail from Britain to India using Tata souvenir covers; One of the very few examples of registered mail from Britain carried on this flight.
This Registered Mail cover was postmarked Notting Hill, London on 5 October 1932 and arrived in Karachi on 14 October by IE 185, and then flown from Karachi, where the boxed First Flight cachet was applied, to Bombay reaching the same day, and then onward by surface to Calcutta, where it was delivered on 17 October.
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