Katherine Stinson: a snapshot biography.

“When I began to talk about flying, she already had confidence in me. My mother never warned me not to do this or that for fear of being hurt. Of course I got hurt, but I was never afraid.”

Black and white photograph of Katherine Stinson circa 1910, a pioneering female aviator. She is smiling and posing with her gloved hand on a propeller blade of an early model biplane. Stinson is wearing a plaid cap, a jacket, and a scarf, suggesting a cold weather attire. The background is faded, focusing the viewer's attention on her and the propeller."
Katherine Stinson, circa 1910


Born in Alabama in 1891, Katherine Stinson wanted to be a piano player during her teenage years. So to make money for lessons, she earned a pilot’s certificate, which she was going to use to teach others to fly. But she fell in love with flying and decided to become an aviator instead.

This was 1912, when Katherine was 21 years old. She spent the next six years teaching others to fly, performing flying feats, setting distance records for non-stop flights in the U.S. and Canada, and she becoming the first female Air Mail pilot in the U.S.

Sepia-toned vintage photograph from around 1919, featuring Katherine Stinson standing in front of a biplane. She is dressed in a long coat, gloves, and a hat with a wide brim, which reflects the aviation attire of the era. Her posture is upright and she appears to be looking directly at the camera, with a backdrop of the biplane's fabric-covered wings and wooden propeller, highlighting her status as an aviation pioneer.
Katherine, circa 1919


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Sources: Photograph taken circa 1910 – Bain News Service, Publisher. Katherine Stinson and her aeroplane. [Between Ca. 1910 and 1915] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2014698246/>.