BLANCHE STUART SCOTT
1885-1970

AKA Blanche Stuart 'Betty' Scott
 
   
 
Blanche Stuart Scott
Library of Congress Collection
 

 
 
William Badger
 
 
Blanche Scott - May Andrews - William R. Badger
Library of Congress Collection
 

 
 
Blanche Stuart Scott
 
 
Glenn Curtiss and his student Blanche Stuart Scott
From The Day the Airmail Began
by Edith Dodd Culver
 

 
   
  SHE WAS FIRST--Blanche Stuart Scott, first U. S. woman to solo in a plane, is shown here just before take-off in 1910. Hop was made at Hammondsport, N. Y. Chic bloomers were creation of Fifth Avenue tailor. Mrs. Scott is now living at Hornell, N. Y., and is a director of programs for a radio station
Wide World photo
From the collection of Lester F. Bishop
Courtesy of David Balanky
 

 
 
William Badger
 
 
Blanche Scott
Library of Congress Collection
 
 
First Woman Pilot in U. S.
Still Uses Airways (Radio)

     HORNELL, N. Y. Oct. 3, 1928--
(AP)--The First woman pilot in the United States to solo is still using the airways--as a radio station's program director.
     To look at her now, you'd never suspect that Blanche Stuart Scott of station WLEA was a pioneer barnstormer. She has blonde curls, twinkling eyes, the attractive figure of a college girl and the vivacity of a successful business woman.
     "Don't ask how old I am--I've been 29 for years," she says.
     Glenn Curtiss taught her to fly at Hammondsport, N. Y., in 1910, and, says Blanche;
     "I learned in two days. The plane had a 33-horsepower motor and we sat out in front.
     "The technique was for the instructor to way 'good bye and God bless you,' and you were on your way. The had you cutting grass -- flying just above the ground -- which we know today is very dangerous."
     Ernest Jones of Clifton, Va., secretary of the Early Birds, vouches for her rank as the first U. S. woman pilot, a year behind the French Baroness Raymonde de la Roche. Blanche flew for seven years without a license, she says, and Jones concedes that's why some historians credit Bessica Raiche of New York City, who held license No. 1, as the first woman aviator.
From the collection of Lester F. Bishop
Courtesy of David Balanky
 

 
 
Air Meet
 
  Reproduction of an early poster advertising the "outlaw" meet of 1912 in Oakland. EB Blanche Scott was featured as the "most famous aviatrix in the world." Other EB's participated in the 14 "nerve tingling" events.
from CHIRP, JANUARY, 1948 - CLEVELAND, OHIO - NUMBER 3
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
 

 
 
Early poster recalls "outlaw" meet
in which EB's participated in 1912

     Just as a reminder of old days, there is reproduced the "outlaw" meet of February 17-25, 1912, at the Emeryville race track, Oakland. The Aero Club cautioned the contestants with the threat of "license" revocation but the show went on.
     The participants were: Blanche Scott (Martin-Curtiss type-Hall Scott 60), P. O. Parmalee (Wright-Hall Scott 60), Lincoln Beachey, (Curtiss-Curtiss 80), Hillery Beachey, (Beachey-Hall Scott 40), Glenn L. Martin (Martin-Curtiss type--Curtiss 80), Horace Kearney (Curtiss type), Weldon B. Cooke, (Wiseman II-Hall Scott 60), William Hoff, (Curtiss-Curtiss 60), Farnum Fish, (Wright-Wright 30).
     The mail-carrying, radio, marriage, and aerial homeymoon projects do not appear to have been carried out, but thills there were. Parmalee's Wright had a muffler for each bank of exhaust ports and the only noise was the whir of the propellers and chain. "Sure-shot" Kearney flew an extra stunt from the field to San Francisco, landing and taking off on Van Ness Avenue.
Other Posters Wanted

     Possessors of other posters are asked to put them in the EB files for the edification of posterity, if any. If too well cherished, loan them for photostating.
from CHIRP, JANUARY, 1948 - CLEVELAND, OHIO - NUMBER 3
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
 

 
 
NATIONAL WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME
HALL NAMES 2005 INDUCTEES
FORMER FIRST LADY, ARCHITECT/DESIGNER AMONG NEXT CLASS OF INDUCTEES TO NATIONAL WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME
SENECA FALLS, NY, July 14, 2004 As the nation prepares to commemorate the 156TH anniversary of the first women's rights convention, the National Women's Hall of Fame announces its 2005 Inductees.
Included in the group of ten outstanding American women are health advocate Betty Bumpers, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, scientist Dr. Rita Colwell and renowned architect Maya Lin. These women, along with six historic figures, will be inducted during a weekend of ceremonies October 7-8, 2005.
"These ten women embody the fulfillment of the 1848 conventioneer's vision of women's potential. Each of the inductees represents her own version of the American dream. None of their achievements would have been possible without the work of the brave women and men who convened the first women's rights convention. We are honored to share their stories of perseverance and accomplishment with the nation and the world," said the Hall's President, Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker.
Among the 2005 Inductees is:
Blanche Stuart Scott (1889-1970)
Born in Rochester, New York, Scott was a pioneering aviatrix, becoming the first American woman to take a solo hop into the air, although her flight is not regarded as official. In 1910, she became the first woman to drive an automobile coast to coast in her car - the "Lady Overland". Scott was also the first and only woman to take flying lessons from Glenn Curtiss, later flying with the Curtiss Exhibition Team and earning the nickname "Tomboy of the Air".
New Release courtesy of Marcia K. Gitelman, 7-18-04
 

 
 
ONLINE RESOURCES
     If you search for "Blanche Stuart Scott", using the Google search engine, (12-1-07), you will find about 666 links. Among the most helpful are the following.
 

 
 
Blanche Stuart Scott
     This article on the Pioneers website offers an extensive collection of stories and photographs of Blanche. Included are many links to other sources of information. You can access this priceless resource by clicking on the title above.
 

 
 
SUMMIT CITY HISTORY NOTES
The amazing flying Miss Blanche Scott
By RICHARD BATTIN
News-Sentinel managing editor
     This article from the News-Sentinel offers a very nice little concise summary of the highlights of her life and career. You can read this fascinating story by clicking on the title above.
 

 
 
RECOMMENDED READING
 
 
Talespins
The Day the Airmail Began
 
 
TALESPINS
A Story of Early Aviation Days
by Edith Dodd Culver
THE DAY THE AIRMAIL BEGAN
by Edith Dodd Culver
 

 
 
 
       Blanche Scott, pioneer woman pilot who soloed for the first time September 5, 1910, died Monday, January 12, 1970 at Genesee Hospital, Rochester, N.Y. Age 84
     Miss Scott was the first and only woman taught by Glenn Curtiss. After giving up flying at the start of World War I, she worked as a script writer, film producer and radio broadcaster in Hollywood, California. Upon retirement, she moved to Rochester, N.Y.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, January, 1971, Number 77
 

 
 
BLANCHE'S GRAVESITE
via email from Jean Czerkas, 6-11-04
Mr. Cooper,
     I am the archivist for the Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. Mt. Hope is the oldest municipally owned Victorian Cemetery in America.
      Riverside Cemetery, also owned by the City of Rochester, is the resting place of Blanche Stuart Scott, (1896-1970). She was the first woman to fly cross country and was a student of Glenn Curtiss. It is amazing how accomplished she was and how she has been forgotten.
     I saw a photo of Blanche Scott on the internet. Do you know if there are photos of her available anywhere? We would like to include a photo in an article for our newsletter.
     I searched for and found her grave in Riverside. She is interred in a grave with her mother. (Not just in the same plot, but in the same grave.) Some organization put a small stone on her grave several years ago with the words "America's First Aviatrix" on it. She must have acquired a husband along the way (Hemmings or Hennings) but we know nothing about him.
     There are four graves on the plot, but only her grave has a head stone. Her father is not in the plot. Her mother most have remarried and her 2nd husband is in the plot. I can make a copy of the plot drawing and send it to you.
     We would appreciate any information you may have on Ms. Scott and her activities or where we might find information.
Thank you for your assistance with the above.
Jean M. Czerkas, Archivist
The Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery
80 Parkmere Rd.
Rochester, New York 14617
 

 
 
DATE OF BIRTH CONFIRMED
via email from Karl S. Kabelac, 11-29-07
Hello,
     I just learned about Blanche Stuart Scott, and as a retired local history librarian here in Rochester NY and with all the wonderful resources on the internet and through subscription databases have had some research fun researching her.

1. The 1900 census was filled out on June 4, 1900 for her family. It is a little hard to see if her birthdate is 1885 or 1886, but as her age is given as 15, I think one can conclude that she was born in 1885.

2. The Social Security Death Index (ssdi) has her birthdate as April 8, 1885. Although she may have been a little confusing about her birthdate for the public, I think she probably would have given the correct date on her application for her Social Security card.

3. The cemetery records in Rochester say she was 84 at time of death. And since she died on January 12, 1970, she would not have had her April birthday that year, so would have been born in 1885.

4. Her obituaries say she was 84; so the same thought as in 3 above would hold.

Sincerely, Karl
Editor's Note: I thank Karl for this elegant bit of detective work. I am always pleased when, with the help of our friends, I can state the facts of the lives and careers of the pioneers with some degree of confidence.
 

 
 
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
 

 
 
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