Harriet Quimby

Aug 14, 2012

harriet_quimby.jpgActress, journalist, world traveler, aviatrix. Harriet Quimby even wrote screenplays for DW Griffith’s silent films … still, none of that was enough for this feisty, vivacious woman.

Harriet had another ambition. Flying. She was the first American woman to receive a pilot’s license and, in 1912, became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Her miraculous feat inspired a bunch of future female aviators, including Amelia Earhart. Harriet’s also the reason why there are seatbelts in planes today (don’t ask).

Harriet’s friends begged her not to do it. She didn’t listen. With only a compass and having to navigate a massive fog bank, Harriet made the dangerous trip—in a splashy purple outfit of her own making. Much to her chagrin, she received little press due to the sinking of the Titanic the previous day. Go figure!

“Come full of faith in yourself, with some real ability, however little … with a fund of humor and wholesome courage.” – Harriet Quimby (1875 – 1912)


Category: Biographies

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