The word “pioneer” as a noun is normally perceived in its meaning of someone venturing into the unknown, which is closely connected in our subconscious with early settlers of unclaimed territories. The exaggerated heads of the image with painfully clenched teeth, harnessed by fanciful and archaic technological designs, are fuelled by the reminiscence of those “helmet and goggle” guys who fearlessly faced the wind and heard its heartbeat through the wires and drumming of their surreal aircrafts’ wings. Who are these creatures – Vikings or Demons or else? Despite an air-soaring component, the composition of the picture feels quite ponderous – perhaps, due to an intentional scale incoherence of the elements. The air mail reference of the image is not literal, but suggestive. The message remains mysterious and vague, and who are we, really, to understand the depths of the human spirit pathfinders? Over and out.
There are several additional meanings to the word pioneer, such as a “soldier who performs construction and demolition work in the fields to facilitate troop movements” in the military. This idea of facilitation as the underlying meaning of the word “pioneer” was actively used in the former Soviet Union and some other communist countries: members of a children’s movement that aimed to foster communist ideals and future members of a youth organization – Komsomol – were called pioneers. As an adjective, “pioneer” is widely used for something innovative, like a new cure for a disease; leading the way.
Air Mail Pioneers who worked for the U.S. Post Office Department in the 20s can be truly considered pioneers in aviation as well. They were the ones who established radio beam flying, developed and installed the first lighted runways across the continent, and assisted in launching weather reporting and forecasting systems.
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Air Mail Pioneers
Air Mail Pioneers