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United States Women in Aviation 1940-1985 Research Materials

Topic:
United States Women in Aviation, 1940-1985
Creator:
Douglas, Deborah G.  Search this
Names:
Carl, Ann  Search this
Felker, Toby  Search this
Fitzroy, Nancy  Search this
Hoffman, Margaret  Search this
Howard, Jean Ross  Search this
Hubert, Beth  Search this
Pateman, Yvonne C.  Search this
Rassmussen, Janet  Search this
Rippelmeyer, Lynn  Search this
Silitch, Mary F.  Search this
Extent:
2.57 Cubic feet (2 record center boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiocassettes
Transcripts
Reports
Notes
Articles
Newspapers
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
1944-1994
bulk [ca. 1940s, 1980s]
Summary:
United States Women in Aviation 1940-1985, by Deborah G. Douglas, was published in 1991 as part of the Smithsonian Institution Press series on women in the aviation industry. This collection consists of a variety of different types of material compiled during the author's research for the book.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a variety of different types of material compiled during the author's research for the book. Included are: various types of correspondence; photographs; newspapers and other publications; photocopies of book chapters and magazine and newspaper articles; working notes belonging to the author; reports (official and personal); interview transcripts; and approximately 600 bibliographic note cards. Also included are 10 cassettes containing interviews with the following aviators: Ann Carl, Toby Felker, Nancy Fitzroy, Margaret Hoffman, Jean Ross Howard, Lt. Beth Hubert, Lt. Col. Yvonne C. Pateman, Janet Rassmussen, Lynn Rippelmeyer, and Mary F. Silitch.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects. In addition, images of some material in the collection have been excluded from online display due to possible copyright restrictions.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged by topic/subject.
Biographical / Historical:
United States Women in Aviation 1940-1985, by Deborah G. Douglas, was published in 1991 as part of the Smithsonian Institution Press series on women in the aviation industry. The publication documents the stories of women involved in all aspects of aviation during this time period, from pilots and engineers, to aircraft industry personnel and flight attendants.
Provenance:
Deborah G. Douglas, Gift, 1995, NASM.1995.0062
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Flight attendants  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiocassettes
Transcripts
Reports
Notes
Articles
Newspapers
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Citation:
United States Women in Aviation 1940-1985 Research Materials, NASM.1995.0062, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1995.0062
See more items in:
United States Women in Aviation 1940-1985 Research Materials
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1995-0062
Online Media:

Harriet Quimby Cigar Box Proof

Creator:
Klingenberg Litho Company, Detmold, Germany  Search this
Names:
Klingenberg Litho Company, Detmold, Germany  Search this
Quimby, Harriet, 1875-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.1 Cubic feet ((1 folder))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ephemera
Date:
[ca. 1920-1930]
Scope and Contents:
This accession is a cigar box proof of the famous aviatrix in her purple flying outfit. This proof is an example of the kind of artwork offered to cigar manufacturers for use on the inside of the lid of the box. This particular proof was produced by Klingenberg Litho Company, Detmold, Germany.
Biographical / Historical:
Harriet Quimby (1875-1912) was a writer, photographer, world traveler, and an aviatrix. From 1903-1912, she was employed by Leslie's Illustrated Weekly where she wrote theater reviews, and also was a photojournalist. In 1911, Quimby became America's first licensed female pilot, and in 1912 she became the first woman to pilot her own plane across the English Channel. Quimby was killed in July 1912, during a publicity stunt flight near Quincy, Massachusetts, when Harriet and her passenger fell from her aircraft when it suddenly pitched forward.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Joe Davidson, Gift, 1987, 1987-0109, not NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Women air pilots  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
advertising  Search this
Aeronautics in advertising  Search this
Aeronautics -- Collectibles  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Cigar boxes  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera
Identifier:
NASM.1987.0109
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1987-0109

1931 National Air Races. Cleveland. Official Program. Mary Charles -- Participant. U.S. Air Pilot #17050

Collection Creator:
Charles, Mary  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1931
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Mary Charles Collection, Accession XXXX-0011, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Charles Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0011-ref22
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View 1931 National Air Races. Cleveland. Official Program. Mary Charles -- Participant. U.S. Air Pilot #17050 digital asset number 1

[Scrap Book - "Capt. Mary Charles"]

Collection Creator:
Charles, Mary  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1934-1966
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Mary Charles Collection, Accession XXXX-0011, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Charles Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0011-ref25
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View [Scrap Book -

Women and Airplanes

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder O
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1910-1949
Scope and Contents note:
The bulk of the material is from 1910s to the 1920s. This folder does not include specific women air pilots (see folders P and T), rather it has images of women flying airplanes, riding in them, and wing walking on them (also one Rosie the Riveter and one song and cover about female flight attendants). Almost all have cover illustrations of women and airplanes. (37 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 1: Transportation
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 1: Transportation / 1.1: Aeronautics
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s01-ref34

Air Pilots, Women

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder P
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1910-1940
Scope and Contents note:
This sheet music is dedicated to and/or has cover photographs of actual women air pilots. Also see folder T on Amelia Earhart and the first item in folder Q for Bessie G. Halladay. (6 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 1: Transportation
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 1: Transportation / 1.1: Aeronautics
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s01-ref36

Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Narration

Creator:
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
National Air and Space Museum  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Collection Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Extent:
4 Sound recordings (open reel, 1/4 inch)
Culture:
African American  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Narration
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Date:
circa 1984
Scope and Contents:
The narrator provides history of black men and women in aviation.
Narration or voice over with music. Part of Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Audiovisual Records. Consistent beeps throughout several of the recordings. Some of the recordings contain some of the same content. Undated.
Biographical / Historical:
The exhibition, Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation, profiled the men and women who had to overcome enormous social pressures in order to gain the right to pursue the dream of flight in both military and civilian circles. The exhibition, originally created and displayed at the National Air and Space Museum, was dedicated to the American Black Aviator, who has anonymously played a historic role in shaping the growth of modern aviation. See an expanded version of the exhibition circulated by SITES, including among its additional artifacts photo murals and audio-visual programs, and the flight suit worn by black astronaut Guion Bluford during preparations for his 1983 space shuttle flight. The SITES exhibition is divided into four parts: Headwinds, the black pioneers of World War I and the early 1920s; Flight Lines, the changing role of blacks in the 1930s and '40s; Wings for War, black involvement in World War II; and Era of Change, their breakthroughs in commercial aviation after World War II. The collection, Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Audiovisual Records, contains the audiovisual materials created when the exhibit was borrowed and adapted for exhibit at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum from April 1, 1984 - August 5, 1984.
Local Numbers:
ACMA AV003453-2

ACMA AV003455

ACMA AV003507
Series Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
African American air pilots  Search this
African American women air pilots  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Narration
Citation:
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Narration, Exhibition Records AV03-016, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.03-016, Item ACMA AV003453-1
See more items in:
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation exhibition records
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation exhibition records / Series ACMA AV03-016: Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation audiovisual records
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-03-016-ref505

Aviator Autograph Books (Mabel Perkins)

Creator:
Perkins, Mabel.  Search this
Names:
Arnold, Henry Harley, 1886-1950  Search this
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937  Search this
Elder, Ruth  Search this
Johnson, Amy  Search this
Nichols, Ruth.  Search this
Piccard, Jeanette.  Search this
Post, Wiley, 1898-1935.  Search this
Rickenbacker, Eddie, 1890-1973  Search this
Rogers, Will, 1879-1935  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Ya-Ching, Lee  Search this
Extent:
0.06 Cubic feet ((1 box))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Autograph albums
Date:
bulk 1920s-1940s
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of two 4 by 4 inch leather bound autograph books, and includes autographs from the following aviators: Lady Heath, Clarence Chamberlain, Roger Williams, Howard Hughes, Elinor Smith, Frank Hawks, George Haldeman, Edith Keating, Horace B. Wild, Marchesa Theodora Marconi, Noble Estey, Laura Ingalls, Casey Jones, W. N. Lancaster, Amelia Earhart, Orville Wright, Charles Holman, Will Rogers, Wiley Post, James Mollison, Amy [Johnson] Mollison, Jimmie Mattern, Charles Kingsford-Smith, Arthur Goebel, Ruth Elder, Clema Granger, Lincoln Ellsworth, Berndt Balchen, Clyde Pangborn, Roscoe Turner, Jimmy Doolittle, Benjamin Foulois, Hap Arnold, Dick Konter, Richard Byrd, Ryotaro Kumakawa, Frank Miller, K. McGinnis, Dick Merrill, Igor Sikorsky, Charles E. Rosendahl, Eddie Rickenbacker, Italo Balbo, P.F. M. Fellowes, Ernie Smith, C. C. Mosely, Ruth Nichols, Lee Ya-Ching, and Jeanette Piccard. News clippings and small photographs of the specific aviator are sometimes placed on the page adjoining the autograph. The books also include two event ribbons, one from the Minneapolis Airport Dedication, September 19, 1930, and one from the Aero Club of Minneapolis Field Day, June 12, 1921.
Biographical / Historical:
Mabel Vernet Perkins (circa 1880 - circa 1950) was born in California to William and Sarah Perkins. Shortly after Perkins' birth, her family moved to Minnesota where her father was a successful businessman. By 1920 Mabel Perkins was attending aviation events and become a member of the Aero Club of Minneapolis. During the 1920s through the early 1940s, Perkins collected aviator autographs, mostly from fairs and barnstorming events in the Midwest. She also collected autographs in Miami in 1933, at the New York Word's Fair in 1939, and in Los Angeles and Riverside, California
Provenance:
Grey Marie Dutton, Gift, 2009
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Autographs -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Autograph albums
Citation:
Aviator Autograph Books (Mabel Perkins), Accession 2010-0007, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2010.0007
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2010-0007

Janet Harmon Bragg Photographs

Names:
Bragg, Janet Harmon, 1907-1993  Search this
Hampton, Clyde  Search this
Van Smith, Ida  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet ((1 folder))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Date:
bulk 1933-1993
Scope and Contents:
Janet Waterford Bragg (1907-1993), became one of America's first black women pilots after enrolling in the Curtiss Wright Aeronautical School in 1933. There she helped form the Challenger Air Pilots Association, which later evolved into the Coffey School of Aeronautics. Bragg's career in aviation was made in spite of discrimination, of both her gender and her race. As a woman, she was initially denied a commercial license, after passing the flight test at the Tuskegee pilot training school. As a person of color, Bragg was denied entry into the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) program. An active pilot for thirty-five years, Bragg focused her considerable abilities on promoting aviation careers for African Americans.
Biographical / Historical:
This collection consists of images collected by Smithsonian Institution Press for the book Soaring above Setbacks: The Autobiography of Janet Harmon Bragg, African American Aviator, as told to Marjorie M. Kriz. These include twenty-one black and white five by seven inch photographs, two color photographs, two color slides and five strips of black and white negatives, relating to the early career and to later celebrations of the accomplishments of Janet Harmon Bragg. Also included are images of Ida Van Smith and Clyde Hampton.
Provenance:
Smithsonion Institution, Gift, 2005
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
African American air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographic prints
Citation:
Janet Harmon Bragg Photographs, Accession number 2005-0019, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2005.0019
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2005-0019

Hans Groenhoff Photographic Collection

Creator:
Groenhoff, Hans  Search this
Names:
Groenhoff, Hans  Search this
Extent:
5.27 Cubic feet (41 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Aerial photographs
Date:
1933-1975
Summary:
Hans Groenhoff (1906-1985) was a celebrated American aviation photographer from the 1930s through the 1960s, also working as a pilot, journalist, editor, correspondent, and—in his retirement years—as an aviation tourism publicist for the Bahamas. This collection of 25,550 images consists of Groenhoff's collection of negatives and transparencies, spanning his career from 1933 to 1975.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of Groenhoff's collection of negatives and transparencies, spanning his career from 1933 to 1975, and includes images of military and civilian aircraft and events, glider and sailplane activities, air shows and races, airlines and airports, weather (clouds) and aerial images.
Arrangement:
Series 1: 1962 Acquisition, approximately 24,250 images; photography made by Groenhoff in the period 1933 to 1962, consists of mixed medium format black-and-white negative single-sheet or cut-frame roll film (Subseries 1, HGA), 35mm black-and-white roll film (Subseries 2, HGD), and mixed medium format color transparency (positive) film (Subseries 3, HGC), as well as black-and-white print enlargements made by the Smithsonian of selected images. Also included in this series are a small number of posed portraits of Groenhoff at work.

Series 2: 1984 Acquisition (HGB), approximately 1,300 images; photography made by Groenhoff in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily during his employment with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, consists of mixed format black-and-white and color roll film and a small number of 35mm color slides.

Series 3: "Focus On Flight" Exhibit and Book Materials. This small series consists of mixed materials (copy photography and documents) used in the creation of the NASM exhibit, Focus on Flight: Four Decades of Aerial Photography (Rudy Arnold and Hans Groenhoff) (November 1984 through September 1985), and the related book by curator E. T. (Tim) Wooldridge, Focus on Flight: The Aviation Photography of Hans Groenhoff, published for the National Air and Space Museum by Smithsonian Institution Press (Washington, D.C.), 1985.
Biographical/Historical note:
Hans Groenhoff (1906-1985) was born and educated in Germany, but emigrated to the United States in 1927. Residing in New York City, Groenhoff pursued his interest in aviation and photography. Following in the footsteps of his brother Günther, a famous aviator and pioneer glider pilot in Germany, Hans Groenhoff became an active glider pilot in the nearby Elmira, New York, area, nurturing a lifelong fascination with clouds and aerial photography. Groenhoff's photography career took off when he inherited two cameras following the death of his brother in a glider accident in 1932; he went on to work as a photographer, journalist, editor, and correspondent, with his photographs and articles published in mainstream magazines such as Life, Colliers, Esquire, National Geographic, and The Saturday Evening Post, as well as aviation publications such as Air Trails Pictorial, Sportsman Pilot, Aero Digest, and especially Flying and Popular Aviation, for whom he was a regular correspondent. Groenhoff also shot advertising and publicity photography for aircraft manufacturers and the U.S. Army Air Forces. Following the death of his first wife, Fridel Barth, in 1954, Groenhoff moved to the Miami, Florida, area to take advantage of better weather for photographing aircraft. In 1956, Groenhoff married Frances Semman, who assisted him in his work. In his retirement years, Groenhoff was employed by the Bahamas Government to promote the Islands as a tourist destination for private and sport aviation, founding their popular "Bahamas Flying Treasure Hunt" events which ran annually for several years.

Hans Groenhoff's aviation photography career is documented in the book Focus on Flight: The Aviation Photography of Hans Groenhoff by E. T. Woodridge (Smithsonian Institution, 1985).
Provenance:
Hans Groenhoff, Purchase, 1962, 1984, NASM.XXXX.0359, NASM
Restrictions:
Physical access to film originals (negatives, transparencies, and slides) requires notice a minimum of two business days in advance of visit to allow for retrieval of materials from cold storage.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aerial photography  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Gliders  Search this
Airlines  Search this
Airports  Search this
Aeronautics -- Competitions  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Seaplanes  Search this
Airships  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Aerial Photographs
Citation:
Hans Groenhoff Photographic Collection, Acc. XXXX.0359, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0359
See more items in:
Hans Groenhoff Photographic Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0359
Online Media:

Lindbergh, Charles Augustus; Lindbergh, Anne Morrow; Lockheed Model 8 Sirius (later "Tingmissartoq"). [photograph]

Photographer:
Unknown  Search this
Subject:
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow, 1906-2001  Search this
Lindbergh, Charles A (Charles Augustus) 1902-1974  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
Circa mid-1931
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Local number:
NASM-00065257
Restrictions & Rights:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air Museum Photography Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_379975

Lindbergh, Anne Spencer Morrow; Lindbergh, Charles Augustus; Bowlus (Hawley) Sailplane Co, General. [photograph]

Photographer:
Unknown  Search this
Subject:
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow, 1906-2001  Search this
Lindbergh, Charles A (Charles Augustus) 1902-1974  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
March 1930
Topic:
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Local number:
NASM-00166989
Restrictions & Rights:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
Videodisc Imagery Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_379978

Rubye Berau Collection

Creator:
Berau, Rubye, 1900-1978  Search this
Names:
National Air Races  Search this
Ninety-Nines (Organization)  Search this
Doolittle, James Harold, 1896-1993  Search this
Harter, Harry  Search this
Kitchingman, Ray "Kitch"  Search this
Settle, Thomas G. W.  Search this
Smith, Babe Walker  Search this
Extent:
0.18 Cubic feet (1 flat box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Articles
Logs (records)
Telegrams
Tickets
Place:
Ohio -- Akron
Date:
bulk 1931-1977
Summary:
The Rubye Berau Collection measures 0.18 cubic feet and dates from 1931-1977. The collection materials document Berau's aviation career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the following types of material chronicling the aviation career of Rubye Berau: scrapbook pages; photographs, including shots of Berau, Babe Walker Smith, Admiral T. G. W. Settle, Harry Harter, Major Addison, Ray "Kitch" Kitchingman, Jimmy Doolittle, and groups shots of Squadron of Death (S. O. D.) members; newspaper articles; Berau's logbook (1931-1936); Berau's 1935 noncommercial pilot's license; telegram; S.O.D. Emblem; and autographed National Air Race tickets, 1934-1935.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Biographical / Historical:
Rubye Berau (1900-1978) was the proprietor of "The Canteen" in Akron, Ohio, when she became interested in aviation. In 1931, she became a member of the Squadron of Death (S.O.D.), an all-woman group of student fliers based at the Akron Airport. The Squadron had thirteen members and met the second Friday of each month and always on a Friday the 13th. Berau completed her training under Ray "Kitch" Kitchingman and received her pilot's license on August 23, 1932. She was part of an act with Babe Smith Walker, where Berau flew the aircraft and Walker was the parachute jumper. Berau also bought an aircraft, flown by Kitchingman, which was used to charter trips. She was a member of the Ninety-Nines.
Provenance:
Robert B. Cooley, Gift, 2004, NASM.2004.0066
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Women air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Articles
Logs (records)
Telegrams
Tickets
Citation:
Rubye Berau Collection, Acc. 2004.0066, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2004.0066
See more items in:
Rubye Berau Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2004-0066
Online Media:

"Amelia Earhart: A Biography" [Rich] Collection

Creator:
Rich, Doris L.  Search this
Names:
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937  Search this
Rich, Doris L.  Search this
Extent:
3.27 Cubic feet ((3 records center boxes))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
[ca. 1980s]
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material researched and organized by Doris Rich in preparation for her book, and is divided into the following five series. The first series consists of information about individuals associated with Earhart and the second series consists of material, organized by year, containing information on general national events and trends of each year, and how Earhart reacted to those events. The third series consists of a day/year diary compiled by Rich to show the whereabouts of Earhart, while the fourth series consists of correspondence between Rich and her contacts for the book. The last series consists of subject files on the following: photographs, libraries, theories on disappearance, planes, search, radio and war; and a bibliography on note cards of interviews/sources, books and magazines that Rich found helpful.
Biographical / Historical:
Doris L. Rich's book Amelia Earhart: A Biography was published by the Smithsonian Press in 1989. Rich downplays Earhart's disappearance, and instead focuses on Earhart's many contributions to the aviation field and her championing of women's rights.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Doris L. Rich, Gift, 1990, 1991-0003, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Air pilots -- United States -- Biography  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0003
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1991-0003

Caroline Lachmann-Spivak Photographs

Creator:
Lachmann-Spivak, Caroline  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet (1 folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1989-2004
Summary:
Caroline Lachmann-Spivak was a pilot for New York Helcipter and later ERA / Alaska Helicopters. This collection consists of eight color snapshots relating to her career.
This collection is in English.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of eight color snapshots relating to Caroline Lachmann-Spivak and her piloting career. Four of the photographs show the New York Helicopter Sikorsky S-58T that Spivak was piloting. Three of the images were taken in the cockpit showing Spivak piloting above New York City. The last image shows Spivak and four other women authors promoting Jenifer Fratzke's book, Alaska's Women Pilots: Contemporary Portraits.
Arrangement:
Collection is in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Caroline Lachmann-Spivak was a Sikorsky S-58T copilot for New York Helicopter, a company that offered air sightseeing tours of New York City, mostly over Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. Spivak flew out of Garden City, Long Island, New York and the 34th Street Heliport, New York City. After leaving New York Helicopters, she got her instrument rating and moved to Alaska where she worked for ERA / Alaska Helicopters.
Provenance:
Caroline Lachmann-Spivak, Gift, 2006, NASM.2007.0028
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Helicopters  Search this
Airlines  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Caroline Lachmann-Spivak Photographs, NASM.2007.0028, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2007.0028
See more items in:
Caroline Lachmann-Spivak Photographs
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2007-0028
Online Media:

Betty Skelton Collection

Creator:
Skelton, Betty, 1926-  Search this
Names:
Fellow Lady Astronaut Trainees (FLATS, "Mercury 13")  Search this
Pitts Aviation Enterprises, Inc.  Search this
Pitts S-1 Special, Little Stinker  Search this
Project Mercury (U.S.)  Search this
Extent:
8.21 Cubic feet (10 legal document boxes, 4 flatboxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Advertisements
Clippings
Date:
circa 1920-2005
Summary:
In 2002 Betty Skelton donated a collection of materials outlining her career as an aviatrix and race car driver to the National Air and Space Museum. The donated material consists primarily of news clippings, pamphlets, magazines, photographs, and scrapbooks covering the span of Ms. Skelton's career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of news clippings, pamphlets, magazines, photographs, and scrapbooks covering the span of Ms. Skelton's career.
Arrangement:
The collection has been divided into three series. The first series contains information on Betty Skelton's personal life, including birth and wedding announcements and family photos. The second, pertaining to her professional life, spans a broad range of materials covering the various careers pursued by Ms. Skelton. The third series consists of oversized items such as scrapbooks and large format magazines. Each series is further divided by format (i.e. news clippings, brochures, and photographs) and then chronologically.

SERIES I: Personal

News clippings; Photographs

SERIES II: Professional

News clippings, Programs and Pamphlets; Correspondence; Magazines/Press Releases; Photographs; Negatives

SERIES III: Oversized Materials
Biographical / Historical:
Betty Skelton Frankman, noted aviatrix, automobile test driver, race car driver, and business woman, was born in 1926 in Pensacola, Florida. Her interest in aviation was kindled at a young age while watching Navy stunt pilots practice. Soon, she and her parents began taking flying lessons and Betty soloed for the first time at age 12, four years before the legal age. As soon as she was legally able, age 16, Betty got her pilot's license. At age 19 she joined the Civil Air Patrol while also working as a flight instructor at her father's aviation school. She began a professional career as an aerobatic pilot in 1946, flying a 1929 Great Lakes 2T1A biplane. In 1948, while flying that aircraft, Betty won her first International Aerobatic Championship for Women. She would repeat this achievement in 1949 and 1950 while flying a Pitts-Special S-1C that she nicknamed "Little Stinker." By 1951 Betty realized that she had gone as far as a woman could go in aviation and retired.

Through a chance meeting with Bill France, the founder of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), Betty began a second career as a test and race car driver. She set multiple land speed records and two transcontinental speed records. Her work with Dodge and Chevrolet led her to her next career as an advertising executive for Campbell-Ewald Advertising Agency, the firm that handled Chevrolet advertising.

In 1959, Betty was given the opportunity to train with the original Mercury 7 astronauts. She completed the same physical and physiological tests as the astronauts, but knew a woman was not destined to be the first American in space. The experience resulted in only a cover story in LOOK magazine (Vol. 24 No. 3 Feb. 2, 1960). In 1965, Betty married Donald Frankman and, eventually, the two moved to Florida and started a real estate business.

Betty held more combined aviation and automotive records than any other person. Her aviation achievements included: a world speed record for piston engine aircraft (unofficial), two light plane altitude records, and three international aerobatic championships. Her achievements in the automotive field included a women's closed course speed record (144.02 mph), a speed record for 200-249 cubic inch piston displacement (105.8 mph), a 24-hour stock car endurance record, a transcontinental record New York to Los Angeles (56 hrs 58 mins.), four land speed records, a South American transcontinental auto speed record, and multiple Bonneville Speed and Endurance Records.

She was also inducted into many halls of fame including, the International Aerobatic Hall of Fame, the NASCAR International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Corvette Hall of Fame, the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame, and the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. In 1985, Betty and Don donated her Pitts Special "Little Stinker" to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM). It currently hangs at the entrance to NASM's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles, Virginia. Betty and her second husband, Dr. Allan Erde, retired to The Villages, Florida, a popular retirement community where many residents use golf carts to get from place to place. But Betty, in keeping with her moniker as the "fastest woman on Earth," drove a bright red Corvette convertible. She died at her home on August 31, 2011, at the age of 85.

The following timeline covers key events in Skelton's life, as well as in the aerospace and automotive industries. Events involving Skelton are shown in normal type while those of the latter are shown in italics.

Timeline of Betty Skelton

6/28/1926 -- Betty is born in Pensacola, Florida

May 1927 -- Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo west to east transatlantic flight

May 1932 -- Amelia Earhart becomes first women to solo across the Atlantic

1937 -- Amelia Earhart and Captain Fred Noonan go missing

12/7/1941 -- Bombing of Pearl Harbor forces American entry into World War II

1942 -- Officially soloed and received pilot's license at age 16

1944 -- Women's Airforce Service Pilots program ends

1945 -- Joins the Civil Air Patrol, eventually achieving rank of Major

May 1945 -- End of War in Europe

August 1945 -- Atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed by Japanese surrender and end of World War II

1946 -- Begins career as aerobat at Southeastern Air Exposition in Jacksonville, Florida

1947 -- The United States Air Force becomes an independent military service Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier becoming the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound

1948 -- Becomes International Aerobatics Champion for women Buys "Little Stinker" Orville Wright dies at age 76 Berlin Airlift begins operation NASCAR is formed

1949 -- Pilots the smallest plane to cross the Irish Sea Represents United States in RAF Pageant – Belfast, Ireland Sets World Light Plane Altitude Record (~26,000 ft) First non-stop round the world flight is made by Capt. James Gallagher Represents United States in International Air Pageant – London, United Kingdom Unofficially sets world Speed Record for engine aircraft (426 mph) Retains title as International Aerobatics Champion for women

1950 -- Retains title of International Aerobatics Champion for women Becomes hostess of radio program "Van Wilson's Greeting Time"

1951 -- Four monkeys become the first living creatures to travel in space Retires from Flying Sets World Light Plane Altitude Record (~29,000 ft)

1953 -- Jacqueline Cochran becomes first women to fly faster than the speed of sound Stars in a movie short about motor boat jumping Meets Bill France and takes first ride in pace car

1954 -- Sets Stock Car Flying Mile Record (105.88 mph) Sets new world women's closed course record (144.02 mph) Sets new world women's closed course record (143.44 mph) First woman to drive an Indy Car

1955 -- Participates in Stock Car Endurance Run

1956 -- Becomes an advertising executive for Campbell-Ewald Participates in Stock Car Endurance Run First successful launch of a Chrysler Redstone Rocket from Cape Canaveral Sets new land speed record (145.044 mph) Sets transcontinental record New York to Los Angeles (56 hrs 58 mins)

1957 -- Sputnik 2 carries first dog into space Participates in Mobilgas Economy Run Sputnik is launched by the Soviet Union

1958 -- United States launches Explorer 1, the first US satellite to enter Earth's orbit National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established South American Transcontinental Auto Speed Record (41hrs 14 mins)

1959 -- Trains with Mercury 7 astronauts

1960 -- Participates in Mobilgas Economy Run

1961 -- Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space Participates in Mobilgas Economy Run Yuri Gagarin becomes first man in space

1962 -- Cuban Missile Crisis Participates in Baja Run

1963 -- John F. Kennedy is assassinated Valentina Tereshkova becomes first women in space

1965 -- Sets new land speed record (315 mph) Marries Donald A. Frankman

1967 -- An accident during testing of Apollo 1 kills Virgil Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward White

1969 -- Successfully lobbies to end discrimination against female pilots in air racing Becomes Vice President of Campbell-Ewald's new Women's Market and Advertising Department Apollo 11 is launched with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, making Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon

1970 -- Explosion onboard Apollo 13 First scheduled service of the Boeing 747

1972 -- The last manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17 is completed President Nixon announces funding for the building of a reusable space shuttle

1974 -- Charles Lindbergh dies at age 72

1975 -- Apollo/Soyuz Test Project and Soyuz 19 successfully dock in Earth orbit

1977 -- Begins working for First Florida Realty Publishes book Little Stinker British Airways and Air France begin regular Concorde service from New York's JKF Airport National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches Voyager I & II

1980 -- Jacqueline Cochran dies at age 74

1981 -- Space Shuttle Columbia launches for the first shuttle mission

1983 -- Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space

1985 -- Donates Little Stinker to NASM

1986 -- Space Shuttle Challenger explodes on take off Soviet Union launches Mir Space Station

1988 -- Inducted into International Aerobatic Hall of Fame (1st woman)

1989 -- Destruction of the Berlin Wall

1993 -- Inducted into NASCAR International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1st woman) Inducted into Florida Women's Hall of Fame

1997 -- Inducted into Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame Mars Pathfinder lands on surface of Mars

2001 -- Space Station Mir ends its 15 year life in space Inducted into Corvette Hall of Fame (1st woman) Donald A. Frankman dies

2003 -- Concorde service between the United States and Europe ends Inducted into International Council of Air Shows Foundation Hall of Fame

2005 -- Marries Allan Erde Inducted into National Aviation Hall of Fame

2008 -- Inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America

8/31/2011 -- Betty dies at her home in The Villages, Florida
Provenance:
Betty Skelton, Gift, 2001
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Pitts S-1 Special  Search this
Pitts aircraft  Search this
Aeronautics -- Competitions  Search this
Airplane racing  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Stunt flying  Search this
Automobile racing  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Advertisements
Clippings
Citation:
Betty Skelton Collection, NASM.2002.0002, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2002.0002
See more items in:
Betty Skelton Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2002-0002
Online Media:

Geraldine L. "Jerrie" Mock Route Map

Creator:
Mock, Geraldine L. "Jerrie"  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet (1 folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Maps
Date:
1964
Summary:
Flying the Spirit of Columbus, Geraldine L. "Jerrie" Mock became the first woman to pilot an aircraft around the world. This collection consists of a partial world map that has Geraldine L. "Jerrie" Mock's around the world flight route marked in red ink.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a partial world map that has Geraldine L. "Jerrie" Mock's around the world flight route marked in red ink. The map is printed in color and measures 25 x 10 inches.
Arrangement:
Collection is in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Flying the Spirit of Columbus, Geraldine L. "Jerrie" Mock became the first woman to pilot an aircraft around the world. She departed from Columbus, Ohio, on March 19, 1964, and arrived back home on April 17, 1964, after flying 36,964 kilometers (23,103 miles) in 29 days, 11 hours, and 59 minutes. Mock wrote about her exceptional solo flight in Three Eight Charlie.
Provenance:
Unknown, NASM.XXXX.1011
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Aeronautics -- Flights  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Genre/Form:
Maps
Citation:
Geraldine L. "Jerrie" Mock Route Map, NASM.XXXX.1011, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.1011
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-1011
Online Media:

Pilots' Licenses Collection

Names:
Aero Club of America  Search this
National Aeronautic Association (U.S.)  Search this
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960  Search this
Havens, Beckwith.  Search this
Keightley, George M., 1889-1967  Search this
Upson, Ralph Hazlett, 1888-1968  Search this
Extent:
0.33 Cubic feet (1 box)
Container:
Box 107 (Shared)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ephemera
Identity cards
Date:
1911-1944
Summary:
This collection contains examples of pilot's licenses that were issued in the early 20th century. It includes licenses from various nations such as France, Italy, Canada and the United States.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a variety of pilot's licenses issued by civilian, government and military organizations dating from 1911 to 1944. The collection contains 52 items, and includes a variety of license types and personal effects relating to each pilot. Licenses issued by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) form a large portion of the non-military parts of the collection, with four of the FAI's founding organizations being featured in the collection. These are Aero Club D'Italia, the Aero Club of America, the Aéro-Club de France and the Royal Aero Club. The US Navy and Air Corps form the majority of military licenses in the collection, with licenses issued by the US Department of Commerce representing civil licenses issued by the Government. Included with many licenses in the collection are other forms of personnel identification attributed to the individual. Examples of these personal effects include a firearms license, an Aviation country club membership card, a business cards and a London-issued driver's license.

Included in this collection are licenses belonging to Raymond Emmanuel Bollack, Laura Bromwell, John Milton Bryant, Frank T. Coffyn, Curtis La Q. Day, Richard Duncan, Lester D. Gardner, G. S. Gillespie, Paul R. Gruhler, Beckwith Havens, Frederick A. Hoover, George M. Keightley, Benjamin Scovill Kelsey, Alfred S. Koch, Lawrence Leon, Grover Loening, Zenos Ramsey Miller, Thomas DeWitt Milling, Charles L. Morris, Thea Rasche, Roland Rohlfs, D. deR. M. Scarrit, Walter J. Shaffer, Thomas E. Springer, Norman Sweetser, Alexander Blair Thaw II, Ralph H. Upson, Clifford L. Webster and E. A. Yeager. A blank license attributed to the Service de la Navigation Aérienne is also included.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged by alphabetical order by last name of the licensee.
Biographical / Historical:
Pilot's licenses became a requirement in the United States after the 1926 Air Commerce Act, however, private organizations issued their own licenses prior to this date. Prominent international organizations, such as the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), issued licenses to aviators around the world. The FAI was founded in 1905 through the collaboration of aviation clubs from eight countries, those being France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. These licenses often served to allow individuals to participate in aeronautic events endorsed by these organizations. Licenses were available for different vehicles with licenses available across various disciplines, with examples being separate documents for balloonists and heavier-than-air pilots. Military organizations often had their own licenses with their own standards. Including examples of licenses issued by various international organizations, the collection provides insight into the types of license that were issued to military and civilian pilots during the first half of the twentieth century.
Provenance:
Gifts and transfers from various sources and unknown, NASM.XXXX.0650.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Genre/Form:
Identity cards
Citation:
Pilots' Licenses Collection, NASM.XXXX.0650, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0650
See more items in:
Pilots' Licenses Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0650
Online Media:

Lee Ya-Ching Papers

Creator:
Ya-Ching, Lee  Search this
Extent:
11.9 Cubic feet (22 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scripts (documents)
Photographs
Maps
Scrapbooks
Date:
1938-1970
Summary:
This collection consists of 11.9 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; publications; newspapers; invitation; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.
Scope and Content note:
This collection consists of 11.9 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; publications; newspapers; invitations; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.

Note: The digital images shown for this collection were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product which did not reproduce all materials found in this collection; some items have not been scanned. In addition, some materials have been excluded from display due to copyright, trademark, or patent restrictions.
Arrangement:
This collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into two series, Ms Lee's personal papers and her professional papers. Within each series, items are arranged by material type then chronologically. No attempt was made to translate foreign language material in the collection.
Biographical/Historical note:
Lee Ya-Ching was born in Canton, China in 1912. As an only child who lost her mother at a young age, Ya-Ching was raised by her father and grandmother. Under her father's guidance she learned many skills, including martial arts, some previously restricted to male children. Ya-Ching attended English schools in Hong Kong and Shanghai and at the age of 16 was sent to London to attend finishing school.

In 1929 at the age of 17, Ya-Ching went to Geneva, Switzerland. It is there that she took her first ride in an airplane and vowed to learn how to fly. She enrolled in Ecole Aero Club de Suisse and, in 1934, became the first woman to receive a pilot's license from the school. Determined to continue her education, Ya-Ching went to the United States and attended the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California in 1935. In November of that year she became the first woman licensed through the Boeing School. Upon completion of her training at the Boeing school Ya-Ching returned to China and began campaigning for a Chinese pilot's license, eventually obtaining the license in 1936. Seeing a need to train new pilots, Ya-Ching and some fellow pilots opened a civilian flying school in Shanghai in 1936.

When Japan invaded China in 1937, Ya-Ching volunteered to fly for her country, but was refused. Undeterred, she served her country by establishing hospitals. Leaving Shanghai for Hong Kong just before the city fell, she was finally given the opportunity to fly for China by piloting Red Cross planes ferrying supplies from Hong Kong to Canton. Realizing that China needed aid and supplies, Ya-Ching embarked on a Goodwill Tour of the United States and Canada in 1938. When the war prevented her return to China, Ya-Ching continued the tour expanding her appearances into South America.

Not much is known of Ya-Ching's life after the war. She returned to Hong Kong for a number of years. In the 1960's she returned to California, where she died in 1998 at the age of 86.

Time Line of Lee Ya-Ching

xxxx -- The following timeline covers key events in Ya-Ching's life, as well world events. Events involving Ya-Ching are shown in normal type world events are shown in italics.

1909 -- M. Vallon flies first plane in China

1911 -- China ousts the 2000 year old Imperial System for a Republic

April 16, 1912 -- Lee Ya-Ching is born in Canton, China

1916 -- Ya-Ching's mother dies of tuberculosis

1917 -- China enters World War 1 on the side of the Allies

1926 -- Begins career as a movie actress

1928 -- Leaves the film industry and goes to school in England

1929 -- The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is ousted from China Goes to Switzerland

September 1931 -- Japan seizes control of Manchuria

November 1931 -- CCP resurfaces in China and forms the Chinese Soviet Republic in Jiangxi Province

May 1932 -- Amelia Earhart becomes first woman to solo across the Atlantic

1933 -- Begins flying lessons at Geneva's Cointrin-Ecole d'Aviation

1934 -- Receives her pilot's license from Ecole Aéro Club de Suisse

1935 -- Attends and receives license from the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California

1935 -- Falls out of an aerobatic plane, earning her membership in the Caterpillar Club

1936 -- Receives her pilot's license from the Chinese Government First domestic airline established in China Opens a civilian flying school in Shanghai

1937 -- Flies for the Red Cross ferrying supplies from Hong Kong to Canton Japan invades China Earns Hong Kong commercial pilot's license Helps establish hospitals in Shanghai

1938 -- Begins goodwill tour of United States and Canada

1939 -- Appears in US film Disputed Passage with Dorothy Lamour

1940 -- Flies "Estrella China" to Caribbean, Central and South America Aids Ruth Nichols in raising money for Relief Wings

1941 -- Begins working for United China Relief

December 7, 1941 -- Bombing of Pearl Harbor forces American entry into World War II

1944 -- Begins Goodwill and Fund Raising tour of South America and Caribbean

August 1945 -- Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by Japanese surrender and end of World War II

1946 -- Returns to China and retires

1946 -- Fighting between CCP and KMT (Nationalist party) resumes

October 1949 -- KMT retreats to Taiwan Mao Zedong establishes the People's Republic of China

1950 -- Receives Hong Kong private pilot's license

1963 -- Receives Hong Kong Special Purpose Pilot's license

1971 -- Permanently moves to the United States

1997 -- British rule ends in Hong Kong

January 28, 1998 -- Dies at the age of 86
Provenance:
Pax Cheng and Mary Wolfson, Gift, 2007, NASM.2008.0009.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- China  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scripts (documents)
Photographs
Maps
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers, NASM.2008.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2008.0009
See more items in:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2008-0009
Online Media:

Before Amelia: Women Pilots in the Early Days of Aviation Collection

Creator:
Lebow, Eileen F.  Search this
Names:
Bryant, Alys McKey  Search this
Clark, Julia.  Search this
De Laroche, Raymonde.  Search this
Dutrieu, Helene.  Search this
Law, Ruth  Search this
Miller, Bernetta Adams.  Search this
Moisant, Matilde, 1887-1964  Search this
Quimby, Harriet, 1875-1912  Search this
Raiche, Bessica.  Search this
Scott, Blanche Stuart, 1889-1970  Search this
Stinson, Katherine  Search this
Stinson, Marjorie  Search this
Extent:
2.18 Cubic feet ((2 boxes))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Newspaper clippings
Photographs
Date:
bulk 1910s-1930s
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of two cubic feet of research material gathered for Eileen F. Lebow's book, Before Amelia: Women Pilots in the Early Days of Aviation. The research material was gathered from a variety of repositories, and consists mostly of copies of newspaper articles and photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Author Eileen F. Lebow wrote a book about early women pilots entitled, Before Amelia: Women Pilots in the Early Days of Aviation. The book, published by Brassey's Inc. in 2002, highlights the following pilots: Raymonde De Laroche; Hélène Dutrieu; Marie Marvingt; Melli Beese; Lydia Zvereva; Eugenie Shakhovskaya; Lyubov Golanchikova; Helena Samsonova; Hilda Hewlett; Cheridah de Beauvoir Stocks; Winnie Buller; Lillian E. Bland; Blanche Scott; Bessica Raiche; Harriet Quimby; Matilde Moisant; Katherine and Marjorie Stinson; Ruth Law; Julia Clark; Bernetta Miller; Florence Seidell; Mrs. Richberg Hornsby; Dorothy Rice Peirce; Helen Hodge Harris; Hilder Smith; Alys McKey Bryant; and Lily Irvine.
Provenance:
Eileen F. Lebow, Gift, 2006
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Women air pilots  Search this
Genre/Form:
Newspaper clippings
Photographs
Citation:
Before Amelia: Women Pilots in the Early Days of Aviation Collection, Accession number 2007-0001, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2007.0001
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2007-0001

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