Amelia Earhart collectibles
Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 - July 2, 1937 (declared missing), January 5, 1939 (declared dead)) was an American aviator, pioneer and author, famous for her transatlantic flights.
Many people saw her as someone who helped pioneer woman's rights, and she became something of a feminist icon for becoming a prominent pilot in a field which was at the time dominated by men.
Some of her most famous flights include reaching a height of 14,000 feet in her biplane on October 22, 1922, which was then a record for a female pilot, and her 1928 and 1932 transatlantic flights from America to England and Ireland.
Flights and achievements
Earhart's love affair with flying took off in late 1920, when she visited an airfield with her father, Stanton. She said, after just a 10-minute flight which cost $10, that she knew she 'had to fly'.
Her determination to learn saw her take on many jobs to save the money required, and she started lessons on January 3, 1921.
Her first plane was a Kinner Airster biplane, which in October 1922 she used to fly to 4,300m, setting the record for the highest altitude ever reached by a female pilot until that point.
After famous aviator Charles Lindbergh's first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, Earhart was offered the chance to follow suit in April 1928 and be part of a transatlantic flight.
Along with pilot Wilmer Stultz and co-pilot Louis Gordon, they left Newfoundland on June 17, 1928, and 20 hours and 40 minutes later arrived in Wales.
On arrival back in America, they were given their own ticker-tape parade in New York along with a reception by President Calvin Coolidge.
Similar to Lindbergh, she became a very well-known public figure and enjoyed a celebrity status. She used her influence to promote aviation, especially among women.
She made another important flight in August 1928, becoming the first woman to fly across North America and back solo.
In 1932, she achieved what was probably her most accomplished feat, making a transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Derry, Northern Ireland, on May 20.
It lasted 14 hours and 56 minutes, and she battled against strong winds, icy conditions and mechanical issues to complete it. Her original destination had been Paris, the same as Charles Lindbergh.
Her attempt to make a round-the-world flight in 1937 failed in mysterious circumstances which still are not fully explained, and she was declared missing as a result. She was declared dead later on in 1939.
Legacy, collectibles and notable sales
Although only 40-years-old at the time of her disappearance, she had already cemented her status as both a pioneer of flight and a feminist icon. She founded the 'Ninety-Nines', an organisation of female pilots that exists to this day, and has remained a talisman for female aviators and astronauts.
A scarf of Earhart's was taken into space in 1995 by Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot the space shuttle, and her personal memorabilia has always been highly-prized by collectors.
The flight goggles she wore during her historic 1932 solo trans-Atlantic flight were sold in 2009 for an amazing $141,600, and more recently a letter written by her on the subject of trans-Atlantic flight made $3,125.
Her signature too is extremely popular with collectors, and rarer than Charles Lindbergh's because of her disappearance. Autographs of hers are certain to appreciate in value as exhibitions continue to celebrate her achievements.