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The mail gets through - by air

The Story

It's 1967, a year of celebration in Canada, and CBC Radio pays tribute to 40 years of delivering mail by air. Bush pilots had been delivering some mail unofficially for well over a decade, but on Oct. 4, 1927 the first contracted airmail delivery was inaugurated, between Lac du Bonnet, Bissett, and Wadhope in Manitoba. Listen as some of the pilots who pioneered what culminated in domestic "all-up" service in 1948 describe how it all came about. 

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio Special
Broadcast Date: Oct. 3, 1967
Guest(s): Leigh Brintnell, Gordon Cunningham, C.H. (Punch) Dickins, Frank H. Ellis, James Lewington, Archie McMullen, Barney McNeil, Gordon Thomas, Alec Warwick
Narrator: Bill Paul
Duration: 28:35
Photo: Loading mail bags at Fort McMurray, Alberta to ship to Aklavik, Northwest Territories, 1929. Glenbow Museum Collection NA - 463 - 49

Did You know?

• The total distance of that airmail delivery on Oct. 4, 1927 was 132 kilometres (82 miles).
• Canada issued an official airmail stamp on Sept. 21, 1927. The stamp, called a 5-cent brown, was first used the next day on mail on the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Rimouski route.




Pioneers in the Sky: Bush Pilots of Canada more