If you haven't been to the Carolinas Aviation Museum store recently, you're in for a pleasant surprise. The store has a new look and lots of new aviation related products including the new biography of Harriet Quimby - Flying Fair Lady (2016) by Leslie Kerr.
This is a fascinating biography of one of the most influential but forgotten aviators of the time. She was a very beautiful and highly intelligent woman who challenged the Victorian views by breaking out and living her short life of only 37 years on her own terms.
sister survived. She grew up on a farm, but thanks to her mother's encouragement she had a desire for adventure and a talent for writing. This combination allowed her to do the things she loved and write about the experience to inspire others.
At the end of the 19th century, women were considered to be physically and intellectually inferior therefore unable to operate machinery, vote, be active in politics, work in factories, etc. Their roles were domestic. Most women went along (willingly or unwillingly) with these expectations and were content to remain in the background.
Harriet Quimby wasn't like most women. Going against all expectations, she became the first women to use a typewriter, first to purchase a car, first to earn her drivers license, and the first to use a camera to enhance her stories as a journalist.
She was also:
- First female brand spokesperson for an American advertising program
(Armour Meat Packing Company's new grape flavored Vin Fiz soft Drink)
- First female in US to earn a pilot's license (#37) (second in the world).
- First American female to cross the English Channel.
- First to design her own flying attire which included a hood instead of a helmet.
In addition to her journalism and professional photography career, she became friends with actors and directors in the new motion picture industry. Not only did she act in a few motion pictures, she wrote scripts for several films. Harriet was truly not held back by traditional expectations.
Her aviation interest developed from a visit to the Statue of Liberty Race at Belmont Park race track in October of 1910.