Charles Lindbergh United States National Bank Check

11 Jul

United States National Bank check, 6.25 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Lindbergh, “Charles A. Lindbergh,” payable to Ryan Airlines for $923.27, April 4, 1927. Two vertical folds (one passing through a single letter of the signature) and expected cancellation holes, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a copy of the invoice from Ryan Airlines itemizing the instrumentation he purchased, including an air speed indicator, earth conductor compass, eight-day Waltham clock, bank and turn indicator, and inclinometer.

In February 1927, less than 24 hours after hearing of Charles Lindbergh’s search for a single-engine plane, the Ryan Airlines Corporation of San Diego offered to build a plane for $6,000, excluding the engine. Ryan, led by company president Frank Mahoney, would need three months to manufacture Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, officially known as the Ryan NYP. Both Mahoney and designer Donald Hall voiced full confidence in Lindbergh’s choice of a single-engine plane, and Lindbergh was won over by their apparent skill and dedication, even after he informed them that the plane would have to be completed in two months, not three. Hall and the Ryan Airlines staff worked closely with Lindbergh to design and build the single-seat, single-engine monoplane in just 60 days.

This check, one of just sixteen issued on Lindbergh’s account during the period of the construction of the Spirit of St. Louis, (February 28 to May 5, 1927), and one of seven issued to Ryan Airlines, was used to pay for cockpit parts and equipment for Lindbergh’s record-breaking flight. The funds for these checks were provided by a group of St. Louis investors in response to the frenzied national race and prize money offered to the first person who could fly nonstop across the Atlantic. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.


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