WHAT DO YOU KNOW
website controller Christian Gerbich was asked by a friend if he could identify
a photographic pioneer aviatrix card – see below. The whole card + face and
was also a scan of the back –
the best clue as the style is one commonly found on real photo cards of US
origin. Also pointing in the same direction was the aircraft which resembled an
early Curtiss. In pre-Web days that would
have been as far as one could go without seeking out publications on US women
flyers pre WW1.
with the Web, it would have probably been a lot more difficult to find a male
flyer – but the Web has many “womens history” sources as well as aviation
sites so the early female flyers are particularly well covered.
A comparison of photos on www.earlyaviators.com
found a close match with the card in question and identified the subject as Ruth
Law.. Another site was actually in
Australia – Monash University http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/law.html.
which had this signed image as well as a biography, summarised below
First flight. Buys a Wright biplane from Orville. First woman to fly at night.
Flying in Florida at Daytona Beach. Embarks on display circuit and marries her
manager Charlie Oliver.
Record flight from Chicago to New York in a Curtiss. Breaks US distance record
and world womens distance record. Landing
at New York her engine is serviced by an Army lieutenant later to head the USAAF
the Glen Curtiss Medal and the US Aero Club medal for cumulative achievements.
Earning $9000 a week from flying – presumably in peak season.
into US Army but not for combat flying. Continues on show circuit to raise money
for War Bonds & Red Cross. Presumably when the cards were made as she is in
uniform with the medals.
While in the Philipines flies the first air-mail in the then US colony,
Resumes the show circuit with her own team.
Retires from flying under pressure from husband after a colleague is killed
during one of her shows.
1970 Dies age 83.