Pioneering aviation

J.P. Morgan & Co.'s partners helped finance Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight in 1927. Lindbergh carried with him a check drawn on the Equitable Trust Co. of New York, a JPMorgan Chase predecessor firm.

Charles LindberghIn 1927, 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. He took off in the Spirit of St. Louis from Long Island’s Roosevelt Field and less than 34 hours later, he landed the single-engine plane in Paris.

J.P. Morgan & Co. underwrote the flight — an early foray into aviation financing. It was arranged by one of the firm’s partners, Dwight Morrow, who was also a member of the Aviation Board and a friend of Lindbergh’s father. In a nice twist to the story, Lindbergh subsequently met Morrow’s daughter, Anne, and they were married two years later.

Lindbergh carried a check drawn on the Equitable Trust Co. of New York, a JPMorgan Chase predecessor firm, on his historic flight. Shortly after landing, he donated $500 to the American Hospital in Paris, drawing on funds deposited in his name at the Paris office of the Guaranty Trust Co., another JPMorgan Chase predecessor firm.

On June 13, 1927, Lindbergh was honored in a ticker-tape parade along Broadway in New York City. As reported in an employee publication, “People on the street shrieked wildly, and strained for a better view of the famous airman. Others, perched on windows and on ledges of skyscrapers, leaned perilously forward, tossing out a sky-darkening cascade of paper into the streets below — New York’s unique greeting cards. It was pandemonium.”

 

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