Sunday, January 3, 2010
Blamce Stuart Scott
Known as "The tomboy of the air" made her first solo flight September 5, 1910. There was very little training. "They told you this and that, you got in, they kissed you good-bye and trusted to luck you'd get back." Seated in what she called "an undertaker's chair" in front of "a motor that sounded like a whirling bolt in a dish pan" Blanche Scott, her bloomers filled with three petticoats, took off. Only months before her solo flight, she had titillated the nation by driving across the country on mostly unpaved roads, the first woman to do so. From New York to San Francisco, 6,000 miles in an Overland automobile. Her father who had a patent medicine business in Rochester, N.Y. had raised her on the theme "are you right? " If you're sure, give 'em hell." On the way back from San Francisco, she drove through Dayton, Ohio where the Wright brothers were teaching flying. Later, she joined a group of barnstormers on the circuit which included 3,000-foot death dives. She was paid as much as $5,000 a week. Blanche was an outdoors enthusiast and was educated at the Misses School for Girls in Rochester, Howard Seminary in Massachusetts and Fort Edward College in New York. She was also a champion ice skater. She was in her own words, "a screwball then. I was a cocky kid of 18 and the whole thing was a lark." I don't know the rest of the story.