Harriet Quimby

Harriet Quimby

Infobox Person
name = Harriet Quimby

image_size = 250px
caption = Harriet Quimby in her Blériot XI monoplane
birth_date = May 11, 1875
birth_place = Arcadia, Michigan
death_date = death date and age|1912|7|1|1875|5|11
death_place = Squantum, Massachusetts
occupation = Aviator
spouse =
parents =
children =
Harriet Quimby (May 11, 1875 – July 1, 1912) was the first female to gain a pilot license in the United States. In 1911 she earned the first U.S. pilot's certificate issued to a woman by the Aero Club of America, and less than a year later became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Although Quimby lived only to age 37, she had a major impact on women's roles in aviation.

Early career

A historical marker has been erected near the remains of the farmhouse in Arcadia, Michigan where Quimby was born. After her family moved to San Francisco, California in the early 1900s, she became a journalist. She moved to New York City in 1903 to work as a theatre critic for "Leslie's Illustrated Weekly", which published over 250 of her articles over a nine-year period. She became interested in aviation in 1910, when she attended the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament on Long Island, New York and met Matilde Moisant and her brother John, a well-known American aviator and operator of a flight school. On August 1, 1911, Quimby took her pilot's test and became the first U.S. woman to earn a pilot's certificate. Matilde Moisant soon followed and became the nation's second certified female pilot.


In 1911 Quimby authored five screenplays that were made into silent film shorts by Biograph Studios. All five of the romance films were directed by director D.W. Griffith with stars such as Florence La Badie, Wilfred Lucas, and Blanche Sweet.

Vin Fiz

The Vin Fiz Company, a division of Armour Meat Packing Plant of Chicago, recruited Harriet as the spokesperson for the new grape soda, Vin Fiz, after Calbraith Perry Rodgers' death in April 1912. Her distinctive purple aviatrix uniform and image graced many of the advertising pieces of the day.

English Channel

On April 16, 1912, Quimby took off from Dover, England, en route to Calais, France and made the flight in 59 minutes, landing about 25 miles (40 km) from Calais on a beach in Hardelot-Plage, Pas-de-Calais. She had become the first woman to fly the English Channel. Her accomplishment received little media attention, due to the sinking of the RMS "Titanic" on April 15.


Quimby's career ended on July 1, 1912. She was flying in the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet at Squantum, Massachusetts. William Willard, the event's organizer, was a passenger in her brand-new two-seat Bleriot monoplane. The plane unexpectedly pitched forward for reasons that are still unknown. Both Willard and Quimby were ejected and fell to their deaths, while the plane "glided down and lodged itself in the mud." [http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Explorers_Record_Setters_and_Daredevils/quimby/EX5.htm Harriet Quimby ] at www.centennialofflight.gov

Harriet Quimby was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York. The following year her remains were moved to the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.


The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's restored and flyable Anzani-powered Blériot XI, which bears the Blériot factory's serial number 56, and the still-current N-number N60094, could possibly be the aircraft that Quimby was flying in 1912 during the Boston Aviation Meet.Fact|date=April 2008 The previously wrecked aircraft that is now flying at Old Rhinebeck was found stored in a barn in Laconia, New Hampshire in the 1960s and fully restored to flying condition, most likely by Cole Palen, ORA's founder.

A 1991 United States airmail postage stamp featured Quimby. She is memorialized in two official Michigan historical markers, one in Coldwater, and one at her birthplace in Manistee County, Michigan. [ [http://www.michmarkers.com/Frameset.htm Michigan Historical markers] ]


*Blériot XI monoplane

See also

*Laconia Municipal Airport

Selected coverage in "The New York Times"

*"The New York Times", May 11, 1911, page 6, "Woman in trousers daring aviator; Long Island folk discover that miss Harriet Quimby is making flights at Garden City"
*"The New York Times", August 2, 1911, page 7, "Miss Quimby wins air pilot license"
*"The New York Times", September 5, 1911, page 5, "Girl flies by night at Richmond fair; Harriet Quimby darts about in the moonshine above an admiring crowd"
*"The New York Times", September 18, 1911, page 7, "Women aviators to race; the Misses Moisant, Quimby, Scott, and Dutrieu at Nassau meet"
*"The New York Times", September 28, 1911, page 2, "Miss Quimby's flight"
*"The New York Times", April 17, 1912, page 15, "Quimby flies English Channel"
*"The New York Times", June 21, 1912, page 14, "Woman to fly with mail; Miss Quimby Plans Air Trip from Boston to New York"
*"The New York Times", July 2, 1912, page 1, "Miss Quimby dies in airship fall"
*"The New York Times", July 3, 1912, page 7, "Quimby tragedy unexplained"
*"The New York Times", July 4, 1912, page 7, "Services for Harriet Quimby to-night"
*"The New York Times", July 5, 1912, page 13, "Eulogizes Harriet Quimby"
*"The New York Times", July 7, 1912, magazine, "When aviation becomes not only dangerous but foolhardy"


External links

* [http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Explorers_Record_Setters_and_Daredevils/quimby/EX5.htm Centennial of Flight: Harriet Quimby]
* [http://www.pbs.org/kcet/chasingthesun/innovators/hquimby.html PBS: Harriet Quimby]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bleriot/quimby.html PBS NOVA: "Queen of the Channel Crossing" by Peter Tyson]
* [http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/quimby.htm Eyewitness History: Harriet Quimby]
* [http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aero/quimby.htm FIU: Harriet Quimby]
* [http://www.harrietquimby.org Harriet Quimby Organization]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Harriet Quimby — (* 11. Mai 1875 bei Coldwater, Michigan; † 1. Juli 1912 bei Boston) gilt als die erste bedeutende US amerikanische Pilotin. Als erste Frau überquerte sie am 16. April 1912 im Alleinflug den Ärmelkanal. Leben Harriet Quimby stammte aus einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harriet Quimby — Harriet Quimby, née le 11 mai 1875 et décédée le 1er juillet 1912, est une pionnière de l aviation et une scénariste américaine. Elle est la première femme américaine brevetée pilote, lorsqu en 1911 son brevet lui est attribué …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Quimby — can refer to:* Fred Quimby, MGM producer and animator * Harriet Quimby, the first female pilot in the United States * Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a 19th century philosopher * Ramona Quimby and Beezus Quimby, fictional characters in a series of… …   Wikipedia

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  • Quimby — ist der Name: einer Stadt in Louisiana, siehe Quimby (Louisiana) Quimby ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Fred Quimby (1886–1965), amerikanischer Produzent und Animator Harriet Quimby (1875–1912), amerikanische Pilotin Phineas Parkhurst… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Quimby, Harriet — ▪ American aviator born May 1, 1875?, probably Coldwater, Mich., U.S. died July 1, 1912, in flight over Dorchester Bay [part of Boston Bay], Mass.       American aviator (aviation), the first female pilot to fly across the English Channel.… …   Universalium

  • Matilde E. Moisant — Moisant in 1912 wearing a good luck swastika medallion Born September 13, 1878(1878 09 13) Earl Park, Indiana, U.S. Died February 5, 1964 …   Wikipedia

  • Moisant — Matilde Moisant, 1912 Matilde Moisant (* 13. September 1878 in Earl Park, Indiana; † 5. Februar 1964 in Glendale, Kalifornien) war eine US amerikanische Pilotin und zweite Amerikanerin mit eigener Pilotenlizenz. L …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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