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-g01THE WORLD'S FIRST SCHEDULED AIRLINE By HAMPTON DUNN TAMPA --Alongside Hillsborough River near the west end of the Platt St. bridge an attractive marker dutifully records the site where the world's first scheduled airline had a terminal On Jan. 1, 1914, Tony Jannus, star pilot for the Benoist Aircraft Co. of St. Louis, landed a Benoist airboat here after a history-making 23-minute flight from St. Petersburg. His passenger was A. C. Pheil of St. Petersburg, who paid $400 for the privilege of being the "first" passenger on a scheduled airline. More than 3000 persons greeted the new mode of commercial transportation. The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, as it was known, continued on regular schedule but when the novelty wore off, interest in the line waned and it finally went out of existence in March, 1914. It had compiled a fine record of passenger flights. Jannus had never had an accident and had flown scores of Floridians across hundreds of miles of Florida. Jannus went to Russia for the Benoist firm during World War I and was killed Oct. 12, 1916, while making a test flight. Formation of a permanent airline company was stopped by various factors including a new railroad into St. Petersburg, war in Mexico and Europe, money panics and the national preparedness effort. But the Tampa-St. Petersburg airline had made history. One of the "firsts" by the enterprise was the first air express shipment on Jan. 12 when the Swift plant in Tampa sent a case of Swift Premium ham and bacon to a grocery company in St. Petersburg. In 1964, on the 50th anniversary of the first commercial airline flight the Tampa Chamber of Commerce had built a replica of Jannus' plane to reenact the historic feat.
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The world's first scheduled airline
h [electronic resource] /
by Hampton Dunn.
1 online resource (2 p.) :
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed July 22, 2010).
At head of title: Photouring Florida.
Typescript of Photouring Florida column that describes the historical marker at the end of the Platt St. bridge that commemorates the site where Benoist Aeroplane Co., the world's first scheduled airline, had a terminal.
2 0 610
Benoist Aeroplane Co.
Description and travel.
t Hampton Dunn Photouring Florida collection.