Edmond Genet, from the Sky Birds series
Between 1933 and 1934, the National Chicle Company produced the Sky Birds collection. In a format previously reserved for baseball players, heroes of aviation past and present were given center stage. Distributed in one-cent packs (roughly 18 cents in today’s currency), there were 144 different cards produced in total. The first two dozen cards featured World War I pilots, focusing in on the Lafayette Escadrille, a notoriously reckless volunteer brigade of American pilots in support of the French. Edmond Genet, a descendent of Governor Clinton and an Ossining native, was considered the first American to die in WWI, shot down on April 17, 1917.