"Major Howard" and Katherine Stinson, 1917

1070 (SITE) Maj Howard and Katherine Stinson 1917.jpg
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1070 (SITE) Maj Howard and Katherine Stinson 1917.jpg
1070 (DETAIL).jpg
1070 (FRAME).jpg

"Major Howard" and Katherine Stinson, 1917

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Maj Howard and Katherine Stinson, 1917

She was the fourth woman in the United States to obtain a pilot's certificate, which she earned on 24 July 1912, at the age of 21 while residing in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Initially, she planned to get her certificate and use money she earned from exhibition flying to pay for her music lessons.  Stinson became the first woman to perform a loop, at Cicero Field in Chicago, Illinois, and went on to perform this feat some 500 times without a single accident, and set numerous US and Canadian endurance records before retiring from flying in the 1920s to become an architect.

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Photograph reprinted by permission from The New York Times®.  Copyright © 2014 The New York Times.  All rights reserved.