Amelia Earhart

Airports celebrate Amelia Earhart’s Birthday

July 24th was Amelia Earhart’s birthday and over the weekend many airports marked the day with some great images and historical tidbits. Here’s a sampling.

Courtesy International Women’s Air & Space Museum

Amelia Earhart at Union Club Hotel in Indiana

Here’s a nice way to celebrate the life and legacy of Amelia Earhart during Women’s History Month.

In West Lafayette, IN, Purdue University’s recently renovated Union Club Hotel now has an installation with 14 different images of Amelia Earhart projected on the two-story bookcase behind the reception desk.

Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and the first person ever to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland.

She also earned money from product endorsements: her “real aeroplane” luggage was a big seller.

Courtesy Purdue University Libraries, 

The installation at Purdue’s Union Club Hotel is especially appropriate. Earhart served on the university faculty as a career counselor and an adviser in aeronautics. The University helped to finance her first airplane. And today there is digital access to the Amelia Earhart Collection.

The collection is a treasure-trove of photographs, artifacts (luggage, goggles, smelling salts), postage stamps, letters, and papers.

We’re looking forward to checking into this hotel and spending time in the library learning more about Amelia Earhart.

Museum Monday: Amelia Earhart’s Goggles

Courtesy Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Here’s proof that you never know when you’ll come across something cool in an unexpected place.

Case in point: the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The sprawling museum is not just the largest children’s museum in the world. It is also home to more than 130,000 artifacts, many of them true treasures.

One example: these aviator goggles that belonged to Amelia Earhart. According to museum notes, Earhart “supposedly didn’t enjoy wearing goggles, and would only put them on at the end of the runway and would take them off as soon as she landed.” The museum says these goggles were given to Earhart by a friend who also gave her a leather jacket and a flight cap.

No word on what happened to the leather jacket and the flight cap. But the goggles are on display at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis right now as part of an exhibit called Barbie You Can Be Anything: The Experience. In addition to telling the story of the iconic doll, the exhibit highlights more than 200 careers Barbie has had over the years. Airline pilot is one of them.

Mattel’s Amelia Earhart Barbie doll and the museum’s Amelia Earhart goggles are part of the exhibit.

Barbie as Amelia Earhart

Chill like Amelia Earhart

It’s been a tough few weeks for a lot of us. And there are more tough weeks on the way.

We’re being told to stay home, keep our distance from others and stay away from airports and airplanes.

Yet, we’re being encouraged to stay busy.

So today we’re sharing two great “be chill” photos we found in the collection of the International Women’s Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

The photos are from a collection focusing on Amelia Earhart.

One shows her relaxing and reading a book.

The other shows Amelia in her garden.

If Amelia Earhart can take a break, I guess we can too.

Stay safe!

Amelia Earhart’s flight jacket – in Wyoming


Amelia Earhart flight jacket – courtesy Buffalo Bill Center of the West

I’m putting finishing touches on a presentation I’ll be making at the Washington Museum Association conference this week about objects museums have that they rarely or never show to the public.

One of the treasures I’ll be featuring is Amelia Earhart’s flight jacket.

Not the one she was wearing on that last flight, of course, but one she clearly treasured.

The jacket is in the collection of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming (formerly the Buffalo Bill Historical Center) and there are photographs from the 1920s and 1930s showing her wearing jackets that look just like this one.

According to the museum, Earhart wore this jacket during a two week visit to a friend’s Wyoming ranch in 1934, when she an her husband were on a delayed honeymoon – and when they asked the friend to begin building a cabin for them on property they’d purchased in the Cowboy State.

In 1937, as Earhart was preparing for what would become her final flight, she began sending personal possessions – including this coat – out to Wyoming to have for use in her cabin.

But, as we know, Earhart and and her navigator, Frederick Noonan, vanished over the South Pacific on July 2, 1937.

That cabin never got finished and the jacket ended up in storage at the museum.


Amelia Earhart with with Carl Dunrud, who was building a cabin for Earhart and her husband in Wyoming. Courtesy Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Charles J. Belden, photographer, 1934.