This Hallmark Cards postcard titled “Airplane View of Kansas City, Mo.” is actually a copy of a photograph taken in 1929 or 1930 by the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, Photo Division of New York City. It is one of 57 photos in the archives of the Missouri Valley Room of the Kansas City Public Library.
The description on the back of the card states, “Often rated as one of the best in the country, the Kansas City Airport is located directly north of the city’s downtown business district, a five-minute motor drive from the heart of the city. Headquarters for several transport lines, it affords a scene of steadily increasing activity.”
Notably absent in the photograph are the Jackson County Courthouse and City Hall, which were, at the time this photograph was taken, located in the heart of what is now the River Market area. There are also only two bridges shown here — the old Hannibal Bridge, crossing the Missouri River near the airport, and the old Armour-Swift & Burlington bridge, roughly a mile downstream.
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation was formed from the merger of the Wright Brothers and Glenn-Curtiss affiliated companies on July 5, 1929. On Aug. 22 of that same year, roughly two months before the onset of the Great Depression, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, where it still trades today.
The card was mailed to Mr. & Mrs. E. A. Sapp, 615 S. Fourth St., Independence, Kan., on Sept. 8, 1933. The message reads, “Only tarried one hour. Decided to take the next train out for Chicago. Called my friend and she came down to station. Will drop a card from Chicago. Pretty hot in K.C. Mary.”