Amelia Earhart, 1940. Earhart is probably the most famous female pilot in aviation history, due both to her aviation career and her mysterious disappearance. She promoted "airmindedness" at a time when most people were skeptical about airplanes as a form of transportation. Her confident personal and media presence reached millions in the 1920s and 1930s and still resonates today. SI-78-16945
Louise Thaden, August, 1929. Thaden set may records during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1928 she became the first pilot to hold the women's altitude, endurance, and speed records in light planes simultaneously. Flying a Beech Staggerwing, Thaden won the Bendix trophy in the Bendix Transcontinental Race of 1936, the first year women were allowed to compete against men. She is pictured here in her Beechcraft Travel Air Model B-4000 after winning the "Powder Puff Derby" in 1929. SI-82-2132
Janet Harmon Waterford Bragg, 1932. Janet Bragg was a pioneer female African American pilot whose leadership in black pilot organizations in the 1930s created opportunities for others. She is seen here sitting on a fence at Harlem Airport, Chicago. SI-79-13664
Irene Castle: The Dancer Who Started it All. While the bob is now symbolic of the 1920s woman, the style first made waves in 1915, when renowned ballroom dancer Irene Castle chopped her locks for convenience and unwittingly sparked a major trend.
21 June 1913: Georgia Ann (“Tiny”) Broadwick (1893–1979) was the first woman to jump from an airplane in flight with a parachute. She jumped from an airplane flown by Glenn L. Martin at 2,000 feet (607 meters) over Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California.
Famous women pilots preparing to take part in the 1934 Memorial Day air races at Dycer Airport. In front row kneeling is Gladys O’Donnell, who last year entered seven races and won six. Seated is Ruth Elder, famous flying beauty. Standing left to right: Kay Van Doozer, Myrtle D. Mims and Clema Granger.