International postage stamps with an aviation theme, 1877-1933.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A selection of postage stamps from a variety of countries with an aviation theme. The earliest airmail stamp (centre left) was a 5c isued in 1877 by Samuel King for mail carried by his balloon 'Buffalo' from Nashville, Tennesee. Special stamps were isued to publicise the availability of airmail services, and pioneering flights and aviation milestones were commemorated on stamps. Examples include a French stamp commemorating Louis Bleriot's Channel crosing (top left); a US stamp celebrating Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic crosing (centre) and a 1933 Egyptian stamp isued for the International Aviation Congres held in Cairo that year (second from top right).