DescriptionAmelia Earhart's Flyers Jacket! (with provenance papers) Harriet Quimby was one of the first female pilots, in fact she was the first American woman to obtain a pilots license. She once said, "If a woman wants to fly, first of all, she must, of course, abandon skirts and don a knickerbocker uniform." We're proud to offer you just that! Amelia Earhart's actual flyers jacket. Flyers jackets came about because in early airplanes, the cabins were not pressurized, and at high altitudes it could get very cold and wet. The leather jackets, often lined with wool, would keep pilots warm during long trips in the air. This jacket is not lined with wool, but with silk. It was made by a company called "The English Fashion Waterproofs." The company emblem is still visible inside directly above Amelia's personal stamp. She stamped her name into the jacket and helmet (also offered in this auction), though they have faded badly over the long years. Amelia, born on July 24th, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, saw her first airplane at ten years old at a state fair. She said, "It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not all interesting." It was not until a decade later when she took her first ride in a plane, she knew she had to fly. Many obstacles stood in her way, including prejudice and financial issues. Women were not supposed to fly, it was a man's world up there, but Amelia did not care. She saved her money for months and finally on January 3rd, 1921 she took her first flying lesson, and in six months she saved enough money to even purchase her own plane. It was a used Kinney Airster, a two-seater biplane painted bright yellow. Earhart playfully named it "Canary" and used that very plane to set her first record; first woman to rise to an altitude of 14,000 feet.
It was reported that Amelia did not want to wear the masculine flying outfit which Quimby supported. She would often wear a suit or dress, a close fitting hat, and she would only put her goggles on when she reached the end of the runway and she would take them off as soon as she landed. This supports the provenance that accompanies this jacket. The jacket was given to Mariette Lydis, a close friend of Earhart's. Lydis, the famous artist, met Earhart on one of Earhart's trips overseas and they became fast friends. According to the provenance, Amelia gave Lydis this jacket, along with her helmet and a pair of flight goggles. Amelia, not caring for such items to begin with, would have had little trouble giving them away to a friend who possibly requested them. Lydis would cherish these items her whole life and keep them till the day she died. They are mentioned in her estate and will as belonging to Amelia. These documents are included with the lot. Earhart's light and airy character, no doubt got under Lydis' skin, and she cherished Amelia's friendship her whole life. Many who knew Amelia would testify that she was someone you could never forget. This jacket is a fantastic piece of cultural history. It no doubt sat on Amelia's shoulders in a cockpit overlooking the United States or perhaps even the Pacific Ocean.
A chance to own something worn or even touched by this legendary woman comes but a few times in a lifetime. This auction features three items not only worn by Earhart but commemorate her passion; aviation. Picture Amelia on her first flight, picture her buying her first plane, then picture her as a seasoned pilot wearing this jacket landing her plane on the runway...finally picture yourself wearing this jacket. A powerful thought! Amelia once said, "The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night." You too can feel what she did, experience Amelia up close and personal. Get close to America's most famous Aviatrix! *
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