The cold war and subsequent conflicts might have turned out quite differently if a St. Louis aircraft manufacturer had not existed. The world's largest airline may have never gotten off the ground if not for a U.S. mail contract that was awarded to a St. Louis company in the mid-1920s.
This book provides a brief view of these firsts in aviation, as well as the development and impact of aviation in the city and beyond.
Founded in 1764, St. Louis grew as a steamboat center on the Mississippi, as the eastern end of the Oregon Trail, and as the result of industrialization after the Civil War. Charles A. Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis on the first solo transatlantic flight from Long Island to Paris. Americans Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted the first heavier-than-air flight and America has led in aviation innovations ever since.