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Sale 811 — 1999 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 15 May, 1999

Category — Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz Flights

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
231
c
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 231, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz FlightsMiddletown Crash, September 18, 1911, Middletown Crash, September 18, 1911Middletown Crash, September 18, 1911. Photographic postcard depicting Rodgers and his mechanics picking thru the twisted wreckage of his Wright Model EX with caption "Wreck of Roger's [sic] Aeroplane, Middletown, N.Y. 1911", address side with 1c Green tied by "Middltown N.Y. Sep. 18 4 PM 1911" wavy-line machine cancel, no message but three different initials including that of James Dunn, the chauffeur, to C. Meekel of Armour & Co. at Chicago, Very Fine, the only recorded card postmarked on the day of the Middletown crash, which occurred as Rodgers attempted a take-off on the next leg (flight resumed Sep. 21) -- noteworthy are the speed of production of this souvenir and the misspelling of Rodgers' name

E. 1,000-1,500
1,600
232
c
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 232, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz Flights1911/Aerial/Rodgers/Post/1911, 1911/Aerial/Rodgers/Post/19111911/Aerial/Rodgers/Post/1911. Type 1 circular handstamp with 5-line text, well-struck on address side of photographic postcard depicting wrecked Vin Fiz with ms. labels "Part of Wrecked Machine" and "C. L. Wiggin" (mechanic), both in his hand with arrow showing him among those gathered around wreckage, 1c Green tied by "Salamanca N.Y. Sep. 25 7:30 AM 1911" flag machine cancel, addressed by Wiggin to L. A. Wiggin at Atlanta, his message "Salamanca N.Y. Sept. 24th C.L.W.", some toning and light creases, Fine, one of two recorded examples of Type 1 circle handstamp (the only one used alone) -- assuming that the card depicts the Redhouse/Cattaraugus crash site (near Salamanca) and the "Salamanca Sept. 24" message is a caption to the photo, this card could not have been flown, given the fact that Rodgers did not depart from Salamanca until Sep. 28

E. 2,000-3,000
5,500
Back to Top
233
c
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 233, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz Flights1911/Aerial/Rodgers/Post/1911, 1911/Aerial/Rodgers/Post/19111911/Aerial/Rodgers/Post/1911. Type 1A circular handstamp with additional "RODGERS AERIAL ROUTE"%$ straightline handstamp in matching ink on back of lithographic postcard depicting Cal Rodgers and one of his wreck scenes, message from C. L. Wiggin "Springfield Ill. Oct. 9th 1911. Arrived all OK from Peoria at 5:25 PM. C. L. Wiggin. Leave for Kansas City tommorrow" and addressed to M. S. Wiggin at Atlanta, his own cross-outs in address, 1c Green tied by "Springfield Oct. 9 11:00 PM 1911" machine cancel -- the day that Mabel Rodgers reportedly received a telegram from Postmaster General Hitchcock, appointing her official postmistress (reference: Flight of the Vin Fiz, p. 180) -- based on Wiggin's message, it seems that this card was not actually flown, but the use of the handstamp containing the word "Route" strongly suggests that the account of Mabel's appointment may be historically accurate, inasmuch as "route" was a term specially reserved for official postal routes

E. 2,000-3,000
8,500
Back to Top
234
c
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 234, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz Flights1911, 25c Black, Rodgers "Vin Fiz" Semi-Official Air Post (CL2), 1911, 25c Black, Rodgers "Vin Fiz" Semi-Official Air Post (CL2)1911, 25c Black, Rodgers "Vin Fiz" Semi-Official Air Post (CL2). Cut close as always, short razor cut at upper right, affixed upright on 1c McKinley postal card with additional 1c Green addressed to Otto Hunter in Cologne, Germany, cancelled by "Pasadena, Cal. Nov. 8 8-PM 1911" machine cancel with Panama-Pacific slogan, slight creasing

VERY FINE. OF THE ELEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES (SEVEN ON MAIL) OF THE VIN FIZ, THIS IS THE ONLY STAMP KNOWN ON A FLOWN CARD THAT REACHED THE WEST COAST DESTINATION OF PASADENA, THE ONLY ONE ON A UNITED STATES POSTAL CARD, AND THE ONLY ONE ON MAIL ADDRESSED TO A FOREIGN DESTINATION. IN THESE THREE RESPECTS, THIS CARD IS UNIQUE AND A MOST SIGNIFICANT ARTIFACT OF THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHT.

The message on back from C. F. Threle to his brother-in-law in Germany reads: "Willcox Arz. Nov. 1, 1911. Dear Otto, As the first Transcontinental Rogers Aeroplane (Atlantic to Pacific Coast) passes through here to-day, I'll use these means of conveyance to send you a few lines, which please attach to your stamp collection. With kind regards to all, Your a.b.i.l. [affectionate brother-in-law] C. F. Threle", On November 1, this card was flown from Willcox, Arizona Territory, arriving at Pasadena on November 5 after stops at Tucson and Maricopa Ariz. (Nov. 1), Phoenix and Stoval Ariz. (Nov. 2), Imperial Junction Cal. (Nov. 3, where some mail was posted), Banning Cal. (Nov. 4), and Beaumont and Pomona Cal. (Nov. 5). Because of the overseas destination, it is possible that the card was deliberately held until the city of Pasadena was reached. The message and postmark date leave no question that the Vin Fiz stamp was used and the card was actually flown.

This card, discovered in 1926 in Europe, was last offered by our firm more than 25 years ago. Scott Retail for a domestic card

50,000
80,000
Back to Top
235
c
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 235, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz FlightsCompton Cal. Crash, November 12, 1911, Compton Cal. Crash, November 12, 1911Compton Cal. Crash, November 12, 1911. Type 3 handstamps in purple, including 5-line flight cachet and 3-line "Machine wrecked/at Compton/Aviator Injured", both in purple on address side of lithographic postcard depicting Cal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz Flyer, 1c Green tied by "Long Beach Cal. Nov. 16 10 AM 1911" flag machine cancel, addressed to Mrs. T. E. Peters at Long Beach, bottom of card scuffed (presumably in crash), otherwise Fine, very clear strikes of the markings applied to mail intended for the flight from Pasadena to Long Beach, which crashed upon take-off from the stop at Compton -- Rodgers was seriously injured in this crash and the plane was wrecked totally, but one month later the last leg to Long Beach was completed -- only seven recorded, ex Schoendorf

E. 3,000-4,000
12,500
Back to Top
236
 
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 236, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz Flights"Greetings from the Sky" Promotional Slips, "Greetings from the Sky" Promotional Slips"Greetings from the Sky" Promotional Slips. Three different versions of small slips dropped from the plane onto crowds below, a promotion that Rodgers grudgingly executed, one identified as dropped on leg from Canisteo to Salamanca (pencil note "Sept. 27, 1911"), another with pencil note "saw the first one fly Sept. 30 1911", Very Fine and rare group

E. 1,000-1,500
2,900
Back to Top
237
 
Sale Number 811, Lot Number 237, Calbraith Rodgers Vin Fiz FlightsCharles E. Taylor and R. P. Richardson, Charles E. Taylor and R. P. RichardsonCharles E. Taylor and R. P. Richardson. Autographs on separate cards, Taylor was the master mechanic at the Wright Brothers factory, who was assigned to the Rodgers flight by the Wrights; Richardson was the first manager to Rodgers; excellent collateral items with photographs for display

E. 500-750
550
Back to Top
238
 
Vin Fiz Photographs, Collateral and a Piece of the Vin Fiz. Binder containing several dozen photographs (many appear to be contemporary prints), clippings, printed material and a sliver of wood dated "Nov. 12 1911 Vin Fiz" reputed to come from the Compton crash site, a fascinating group

E. 500-750
1,050
Back to Top
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