Trailblazing aviator Elinor Smith died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 98. She was born Elinor Regina Patricia Ward in 1911 in New York City. (She became Elinor Smith after her father, whose wide-ranging show business pursuits included singing and comedy, changed his name to Tom Smith.) Elinor Smith grew up in the... Continue Reading →

The Montana Standard newspaper featured a tribute to a legendary lighthouse keeper who had died the previous month on faraway Staten Island in New York. “Death recently closed the life of Mrs. Kate Walker, keeper from 1886 to 1919 of the Robbins Reef lighthouse in upper New York harbor,” stated the article. “A little woman,... Continue Reading →

The trailblazing automobile manufacturer Winton Motor Carriage Company officially began operations in Cleveland. Scottish immigrant and marine engineer Alexander Winton, who previously produced bicycles, founded the company with George H. Brown and Thomas W. Henderson. The Winton Motor Carriage Company’s earliest automobiles were built entirely by hand. Each of these vehicles featured gas lamps, painted... Continue Reading →

Katie Spotz completed a solo rowing crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, arriving at Guyana on South America’s northern mainland more than four months after departing from Senegal on the West African coast. In completing this ambitious journey of 2,817 nautical miles (5,217.1 kilometers), 22-year-old Spotz became the youngest person to row across an ocean solo.... Continue Reading →

A group consisting of seven officers and 13 sailors from the Bangladesh Navy began training on board a vessel that had recently been obtained by that military branch. The vessel was USCGC Jarvis, which had been commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in 1972. During her years of service as a USCG cutter, the... Continue Reading →

On her 100th birthday, Hepsa Cottle lived it up by traveling in an automobile in her adopted hometown of New York City. “Aged Woman Enjoys Novel Celebration,” proclaimed a headline in the San Francisco Call. In its own account of Mrs. Cottle’s birthday ride, Automotive Industries magazine characterized her in a caption as “the Oldest... Continue Reading →

Mary Feik, whose career encompassed a wide range of aviation achievements, was born in Cleveland. Her interest in airborne transportation first took shape when she was only seven. A stunt pilot flying a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane visited the Cleveland area at that time and took Feik for a ride in the aircraft. The experience... Continue Reading →

Image: Portraits of three women engineers: Margaret Rowbotham, Beatrice Shilling, and Margaret Partridge Beatrice “Tilly” Shilling, who left her mark as an aeronautical engineer as well as a motorbike and car racer, was born in Waterlooville, England. At age 14, she bought her first motorbike. By that time, she had also developed a strong interest... Continue Reading →

A memo to U.S. Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels from Rear Admiral L.C. Palmer, chief of the Bureau of Navigation  (the office within the Navy Department that handled personnel matters), helped set into motion the unprecedented enlistment of women to perform various responsibilities for that military branch – including those that involved transportation. With the ever-increasing... Continue Reading →

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