Side A: A newer use for the airplanes after World War I was mail delivery. Airplanes moved mail faster than trains, but flying only during daylight hours slowed delivery and flying at night was dangerous. The Army Air Service constructed an experimental lighted beacon route for night flying between Columbus and Dayton in 1923. With proof that such a system could work, the U.S. Postal Service developed what later enthusiasts call a “highway of light” to guide air mail pilots on the transcontinental routes between New York to San Francisco and across the nation. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) The system between New York and Chicago was completed by July 1925. By 1946, 2,112 beacons operated along 124 airways nationwide. The International Derrick & Equipment Company (IDECO) built beacon towers and this one survives as an example. Advancements in electronic navigation in the 1930s began to supplant the high towers and bright beams of “highway of light,” although some survived into the 1960s. This tower was originally located 10 miles north on Airport Road, NW, directly north of Warren, Ohio and was relocated here, to Warren Skeets Airport, in the summer of 1954.