27/02/2012 British Commonwealth, India
Stephen H. Smith, the pioneer in rocket mail, was born in Assam, India, in 1891. Between September 30th, 1934 and December 4th, 1944, he conducted more than 250 rocket launches. He investigated night launches, ship to shore and shore to ship launches. He conducted many experiments in the carriage of food packets, and in 1935 successfully launched a cock and a hen in a cross river flight.
Each flight was provided with a quantity of labels, to be used on items of mail to be carried; the numbers limited to around 200 per flight. Our lot 4792 (auction 4194) comprises a sheet of three such labels, for use in a series of launches, to provide relief flights during the 1938 monsoon floods. The sheet bears the autograph of Stephen Smith to the reverse.