Rocket Mail

Eighty years ago today — February 2, 1931 — Friedrich Schmiedl launched the first official “rocket mail,” sending 102 covers (i.e., envelopes)* and postcards to Radegund, Austria.

Several old photographs of rocket mail attempts are found on this Scienceray page.

At least one source listed the official date as being in May, but sources such as The Rocket Mail Page (which includes a photograph of Schmiedl later in life) and this astrophilately site agree that Schmiedl’s launch occurred on this date in space history. (The Rocket Mail Page does note, however, that rockets were used to send mail from ships to islands in Fiji as early as 1902.)

Wonder how much a stamp would cost today, if we were still sending mail by rocket ….

*Postal covers are envelopes or other outer wrappings that have been through the mail, usually with cancelled postage, and are often collected and valued for their historical significance.

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