Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Women's History Month No. 4

"The men flyers have given out the impression that aeroplaning is very perilous work."

Harriet Quimby

So. Look at that primitive flying machine - state of the art in 1912.

And - yes, I know. NOT the main thing to be taken note of, but golly, look at her beautiful face, at this brave, adventurous, clever, ambitious, and vivacious young woman, in her especially designed wool-&-satin deep purple flying costume. Can't you just tell that she has no idea that she's only weeks to live? Wouldn't you suspect that there's nothing she'd change had she known?
Here is a photograph taken of a globe-trotting photojournalist, an actress, a sometime screenwriter in the pioneering days of film, AND the very first U.S. woman to be a certified pilot. Her name is to be found in the record books for having been the very first 'aviatrix' - her era's term for female flyers - to fly - not simply ride - across the English Channel. A completely courageous feat undertaken early on the 16th of April, 1912, as nervous rumors were beginning to circulate about the R.M.S. Titanic, gone to the bottom of the Atlantic only hours earlier.
And only a few weeks later, on July 1, 1912, oh well. I'd rather not type the words.

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