10 Things You Didn’t Know About Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

Earhart and “old Bessie” Vega 5b c. 1935

Amelia Earhart was a pioneering aviatrix who was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic. She mysteriously disappeared in her plane whilst attempting to circumnavigate the globe in 1937, the wreckage of which has never been found. Here are 10 surprising facts you may not know about Amelia Earhart:

  1. She was nicknamed “Lady Lindy” because she resembled Charles Lindbergh (know as “Lucky Lindy”)  the first person to successfully fly from New York to Paris. The popular 1920s dance the Lindy Hop was names after him.
  2. During WW1 Earhart trained as a nurse and tended wounded soldiers in Toronto. She also worked there during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 until she was infected and hospitalized herself.
  3. Amelia attended six different schools during her childhood.
  4. She had her first taste of flying aged just 10 when she built a sledge and launched it off a rollercoaster-like ramp in her garden. When she emerged battered and blooded from the wreckage she exclaimed “Oh, Pidge*, it’s just like flying!”
    *Pidge was the nickname for her younger sister Grace Muriel Earhart
  5. Throughout her childhood she was inspired by strong independent women. She kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings which featured women who had made themselves successful careers in predominantly male-oriented fields, from law to engineering to film direction.
  6. She had her first flight in an aeroplane in December 1920 in a 10-minute passenger ride. This brief exposure to flying ignited her desire to learn to fly.
  7. Saving up the money to pay for flying lessons Earhart worked lots of jobs including working a photographer, truck driver, and stenographer.
  8. Despite flying being a very male-dominated industry she was taught to fly by another early aviatrix: Anita “Neta” Snook.
  9. Her first plane was a yellow Kinner Airster biplane which she nicknamed “The Canary.”
  10. She featured in ad campaigns for Lucky Strike cigarettes which earned her over £1500 which she donated to wards Commander Richard Byrd’s South Pole expedition.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart standing in front of the Lockheed Electra in which she disappeared in July 1937.

Amelia Earhart

Earhart in the Electra cockpit, c.1936

Image source and copyright: 1,This media file is in the public domain in the United States. 2 , 3, 4 This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, thecopyright was not renewed.

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