DS, signed “C. A. Lindbergh,” one page both sides, 3.75 x 5, December 29, 1931. Lindbergh’s state of New Jersey driver’s license renewal application, filled and signed twice on the reverse by Lindbergh. Lindbergh has added his personal and physical information in black ink, listing his occupation as “Aviation,” and identifies himself as self-employed as both lines mentioning “Employer” having been crossed out. Signed twice on the reverse by Lindbergh attesting that all the information provided is true. A light central vertical crease passing through a single letter of each signature, a couple trivial brushes to signatures, as well as written information, and mild handling wear, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a January 26, 1933 TLS to Mrs. Oakley Cooke, the Newark Studio Manager of Bamberger Broadcasting Service, which accompanied the application in the mail. Letter reads, in part: “Just to show you that we render prompt service, I am enclosing an old application card bearing two signatures of Colonel Lindbergh. Will you ask him not to deface this card, but to hold it so that if it is ever needed for the official records, I may be able to borrow it.” Also accompanied by the original mailing envelope for the letter. Just three months after renewing his license, Lindbergh’s life would be turned upside down when his 20-month old son was kidnapped from their home in New Jersey.
Dubbed by many the ‘Crime of the Century,’ the Lindbergh kidnapping captured the attention of the entire nation, setting off a then-unprecedented media frenzy. Bamberger’s department store of New Jersey founded the Bamberger Broadcasting Service in 1922, in an effort to sell more radios—their radio station, WOR, initially began broadcasting from the store itself. On the night of the Lindbergh kidnapping, March 1, 1932, WOR ‘scooped’ the story and was the first to break the news on the air. The station provided nonstop, continuous coverage of the story for the next few days, establishing connections with police for real-time updates. That Lindbergh’s license application was pulled from the archives by New Jersey’s Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and sent to Bamberger remains a mystery, but is further evidence of the media’s interest in the ongoing case. With a fantastic association between the pilot and the radio station that sought to save his son, this is an incredibly unique piece of American and broadcast history. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.