1927 10¢ Spirit of St. Louis
Booklet Pane of 3
Issue Date: May 26, 1928
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 873,360 stamps
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Flat plate printing
Color: Dark blue
The 1927 Spirit of St. Louis stamp was the first to be issued in booklet format. Issued on May 26, 1928, the pane of three 10¢ airmail stamps depicted the airplane Charles Lindbergh flew in the first successful solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight. Each booklet contained two panes.
When fully loaded with fuel for the flight, the 27-foot Ryan M-2 aircraft weighed slightly more than the average U.S. automobile. Lindbergh insisted that the plane be purposely constructed to be uncomfortable to help keep him awake during the 33-and-a-half-hour journey.
Lindbergh’s historic flight made him an instant celebrity. A U.S. Navy cruiser transported Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis home. Following a hero’s welcome, the pilot and plane began a lengthy goodwill tour across the U.S. and Latin America. On the final leg of the tour, Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis to Washington, D.C., and presented the plane to the Smithsonian Institution.
Only 145,560 booklets of six 10¢ Spirit of St. Louis airmail stamps were produced. The booklet carried an extra charge of 1¢ for its cover, which made the total cost of a booklet 61¢. Unaware that the booklet pane differed from #C10, the individual 10¢ stamp issued the previous year, many stamp collectors overlooked the new format. Two months after #C10a was issued, postal rates decreased and the 1927 10¢ airmail stamp became obsolete.