A.J. de Bruijn
A.J. de Bruijn was a dental technician from Amsterdam who used most of his spare time and a lot of his money on rocket experiments. He sold rocket mail to defray some of the high costs of his hobby. The first mail was flown on 9th June 1936, from Ijsselmonde (near Rotterdam). The rocket carried 132 covers across the Mains River. His last flight was on 13 May 1966 at Eerbeek. Rocket 641 carried 1600 items.
In the thirty years De Bruijn experimented (aside from the war years) he and his co-workers, members of the Nederlandsche Ruimtevaart Studio (Dutch Space Flight Studio) launched 81 mail rockets in the Netherlands, 9 in Italy, 8 in Belgium, 5 in Luxembourg and 5 in Germany.
Immediately after the war in 1945 he launched no less than 20 rocket mail flights. That much was learned from these experiments is evident from the fact that on the 21 June 1945, his rocket, D’ete travelled a distance of some 21.6 km (13.5 miles) from Amsterdam to Rijpwetering. Of course he had his share of problems with the Postal Officials.
In 1946 the Post Office confiscated the mail from the November 25 flight. The Justice Department in Amsterdam released the mail some three months later. De Bruijn made an important contribution to the development of Rocket Mail. He died in 1969.
(Re-printed from ‘Of Rocket mail and Mail Rockets’ by Bert van Eijck, and first published in the National Catalogue of the National Philatelic Exhibition 1990 held in Groningen, Translated by Charles Bromser.)
This cover travelled 6.4km in rocket 402 on 19 July.
In the Netherlands A.J. de Bruijn experimented with rockets, even after the war. He used rocket mail to finance his experiments.