Just after World War I ended, America roared not just to the rise of bob hair styles and flapper dresses as the earliest forms of the feminist movement but also to the fast tracking of its aircraft industry development. Then Wisconsin-based aeronautical publisher and inventor Alfred W. Lawson created the world’s first multiengine airplane which was designed to accommodate a number of passengers. The aircraft was named Lawson C-2 and was more expensive compared to surplus military aircraft. For this reason, it didn’t sell. Thereafter, he built a so-called “jumbo” airliner, the L-4, which was capable of carrying 34 passengers and 6,000 lbs of mail. The huge plane, however, crashed on its very first test flight, thus, ending its further development.
In the west, a pioneering automobile expert by the name of Inglis Uppercu started to venture into aeronautics and soon offered international passenger flights from Florida to Cuba. Later he added more routes including flights between Miami and the Bahamas and soon, one between New York and Havana, picking up more passengers at stops along their way. His Aeromarine Airways’ 15 flying boats made more than 2,000 flights and carried about 10,000 passengers. But, sad to say, one of their airplanes crashed just off the coast of Florida where four passengers drowned. Aeromarine Airways went out of business in 1924.
While flapper costumes continued to dominate the female fashion industry the era, the aviation industry flapped its own wings with the Post Office and airmail delivery being the first real existence of the commercial airline business. By the year 1925, seven years after the 1st official airmail flight, 14 million letters and packages were delivered every year by the U.S. Post Office airplanes which were maintaining regular flight schedules. By the time airmail was accepted, the United States’ government transferred airmail service to private companies. Then Representative Clyde Kelly from Pennsylvania sponsored the Contract Air Mail Act of 1925.
After the Contract Air Mail Act of 1925 passed, many private companies started bidding on routes that supplemented the transcontinental air route. This airway had expanded during those nine years that the Post Office started transporting mail by air. Now the United States Post Office awarded contractors to private companies, and these companies would later become the giants of transportation.
After Henry Ford purchased the Stout Metal Airplane Company in 1925, he was awarded the Cleveland-Detroit and Chicago-Detroit routes. He was also the one who produced the all-metal Ford Trimotor, otherwise known as the “Tin Goose.” After a couple of years of delivering mail, Ford returned to manufacturing. Almost all the U.S. airlines used the Ford Trimotor 5-AT which was introduced in 1928. They were capable of carrying 14-15 passengers. In fact one Trimotor 5-AT, built in the year 1929, was still in use in Las Vegas for Sight Seeing in 1991.