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Tag: Women’s History Month

Sophie Blanchard: Pioneer Aeronaut

Portrait of Sophie Blanchard
Portrait of Sophie Blanchard. Image from Jean-Piere Blanchard, physicien-aéronaute.

This March, in honor of Women’s History Month we’re highlighting notable women who are represented in our collections.

Sophie Blanchard was the first professional female aeronaut in history. Born March 25, 1778 near La Rochelle, France, Sophie was initiated into ballooning by her husband Jean-Pierre-François Blanchard, himself a pioneer in ballooning. Jean-Pierre along with his co-aeronaut Dr. John Jeffries, were the first to cross the English Channel by balloon in 1785.

Greek Wild Flowers: Dialogues and Diplomats on the Parthenon and the Athenian Acropolis in the nineteenth century

This post was written by Dr. Alexander Nagel, Research Associate with the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology.

Parthenon
The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis in 2012, Photo: Alexander Nagel.

 

In the fall semester of 2015, I was teaching a course on *Classical Heritage in Washington: Encounters in the Museum* for students from the University of Maryland. Every Friday afternoon around 2pm, students would meet with colleagues and curators, archivists and archaeologists, diplomats and thinkers who work on aspects of heritage preservation and connecting ancient Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and European traditions with those of Washington, DC. The students learned how to tailor and manage research projects, and they developed their own exhibition projects over the semester.

Women’s History Month: An American in Paris, Thérèse Bonney

Thérèse Bonney. Paris, France, 1925-30. Scissor shop sign, denoting the business of a seamstress or tailor.
Thérèse Bonney. Paris, France, 1925-30. Scissor shop sign, denoting the business of a seamstress or tailor.

Born in upstate New York, Thérèse Bonney(1897-1978), was a photojournalist whose work reflected a wide variety of interests and subjects. She studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Radcliffe College in the 1910s. Bonney immigrated to France in 1919 where she became one of the first ten women to graduate from the Sorbonne and founded the first American illustrated press service in Europe, the Bonney Service, in 1924. 

Women in Aviation

Draperpilot
“Aircraft” cover featuring Catherine E. Draper.

This post was contributed by Chris Cottrill, Head Librarian, National Air and Space Museum Library.

The first years of early 20th century aviation were a time of rapid technological change in aircraft design and experimental flights.  They were also years of opportunity for some women, to test the rules of polite society by learning to go aloft in these new “flying machines.”  Aviation journals of the day noted that women were interested in aviation in Europe and North America and that some were piloting aircraft up into the sky. Examples of this interest can be seen in the pages of the magazine Aircraft (1910-1915), digitized by the Smithsonian Libraries.