An Aeroplane Wedding Via Radio, 1922


The wedding party (top) and listeners. From the Literary Digest.

92 years ago today, the Washington Herald of April 24, 1922, reports the wedding that same day of Miss Sarah Cockefair and Albert P. Schlafke, both of Brooklyn, N.Y.:

NEW YORK, April 23 – Three hundred thousand radio fans have received cordial invitations to the wedding of Miss Sarah Cockefair, a nurse at the Brooklyn Hospital, and Albert P. Schlafke, of Brooklyn, who will have the ceremony performed in the clouds above Curtiss Flying Field, on Long Island, tomorrow afternoon.

The minister will be Lieut. Melvin W. Maynard, winner of the transcontinental air race, sometimes known as the “Flying Parson,” and the witnesses will be a radio operator and Lieut. Maynard’s mechanician. The guests will include nearly everybody who owns a radio receiving set.

The airplane will take off at Mineola, Long Island, at 2 o’clock. The wedding service will take place immediately afterward, and the bride and bridegroom, with their genuine “sky pilot,” will start for Schenectady and Syracuse on a flying honeymoon.

Sarah Cockefair

This picture of the bride is from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 25, 1922.

The wedding apparently took off without a hitch, and was reported elsewhere, including Aerial Age Weekly and the Literary Digest for May 27, 1922, According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,  Mr. Schlafke was the athletic director of the Veterans Mountain Camp at Tupper’s Lake, New York. According to the Literary Digest account, the flight was made under the auspices of the American Legion as part of its campaign on behalf of the proposed Soldiers’ Mountain Home. Flying Parson Lt. Maynard spoke about the home, which would provide care to members suffering from ailments requiring pure mountain air. One of the witnesses was Miss Jeanette Vreeland, who performed a number of vocal solos to the couple and to the radio audience below.

Sadly, there’s a grave in a Brooklyn cemetery for one Sarah Schlafke,who died less than a year later in February 1923. According to the Social Security Death Index, one Albert Schlafke, born on August 21, 1891, with a Social Security Number issued in New York, died in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1965.

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