My theme for the Blogging from A to Z challenge is Creativity. Today I take a look at the creativity of Harriet Quimby.
I was looking for some creative people from history to highlight, and there is, of course, a long list of well-known artists, writers, dancers, inventors, etc.
Then I came across Harriet Quimby, who I’d never heard of, and found her story very inspiring.
Quimby, born in 1875, was a pilot and a screenwriter. She was the first woman to get a pilot’s license in the United States, the first woman to fly across the English Channel, and one of the first female screenwriters.
In her mid-twenties, Quimby took up journalism in San Francisco. Shortly after, she moved to New York City and became a theater critic. Over the next nine years, more than 250 of her reviews were published. In 1911, she wrote seven screenplays for silent film shorts produced by Biograph Studios, making her one of the first female screenwriters. D.W. Griffith (famous for directing the controversial The Birth of a Nation) directed the shorts.
Aviation sparked her interest when she attended an aviation tournament on Long Island. There she met Alfred Moisant who ran an aviation school. At that time, the Wright Brothers also ran a flight-training school, but they would not teach women. Quimby convinced Alfred to teach her to fly, and in 1911, she received her pilot’s license. She began performing in aviation shows wearing what became her trademark outfit: a purple satin flying suit with a hood, which she designed.
In April, 1912, Quimby became the first woman to fly over the English Channel. But the sinking of the Titanic just days before overshadowed her achievement.
Sadly, just a few months later, Quimby was performing at an air show, her plane had a still-unknown mechanical failure, and both Quimby and her passenger were ejected from the plane, falling to their deaths. Quimby was 37 years old.
In her short life, Harriet Quimby expressed her creativity to the fullest with both her writing and her flying. Her story is an inspiration for us all to be dauntless creators!
Do you know of any not-so-well-known creative people from history? Or is there someone in your own life who you find particularly creative?