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Lot 39: Signature of Amelia Earhart American aviatrix and the first woman to pilot a plane solo across the Atlantic
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: EARHART, AMELIA. (1897-1937?). American aviatrix; the first woman to pilot a plane solo across the Atlantic and who, in July 1937, mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific on a flight from New Guinea to Howland Island. CS. (“Amelia Earhart”). 1p. 12mo. (roughly 3 ½” x 2”). N.p., N.d. In pencil. ********** After acquiring her first plane in 1922, Earhart began challenging existing aviation records. In 1928, with the encouragement of her future husband, publisher George Putnam, she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, and in 1932, she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic alone. Earhart continued to make landmark flights culminating in her ill-fated attempt to fly around the world in 1937. Radio contact with her plane was lost on July 2 as her aircraft disappeared over the Pacific while flying from New Guinea to Howland Island. “Despite the extreme unlikelihood of her having survived, speculation as to the nature of her flight and its true outcome – including the notion that hers was a clandestine intelligence mission for the U.S. Navy – continued for decades,” (Liberty’s Women, McHenry). ********** Signed diagonally in pencil. Some very light dust staining and otherwise fine. Accompanied by a medal minted by the City of Philadelphia in recognition of her 1932 solo flight across the Atlantic. The obverse bears a bust of Earhart and the text, “First woman in the world to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean May 21, 1932 Amelia Earhart” and the reverse depicts Earhart’s Lockheed 5B Vega flying over the Atlantic Ocean, Philadelphia’s coat of arms and the text, “Award of the City of Philadelphia: Presented by Mayor Moore at the Gimbel Banquet October 5th, 1932.”