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International Context July 9, 1918: Female Pilot Transports Mail for the First Time

Katherine Stinson was chosen for the first postal flight in western Canada, which was part of an air show. A huge crowd gathered to see her take off aboard a Curtiss Stinson Special, heading from Calgary to Edmonton, complete with mail. Letters were stamped Aeroplane Mail Service, July 9, 1918, Calgary, Alberta for the occasion.

U.S. pilot Katherine Stinson and her Curtiss Stinson Special biplane, July 1918
U.S. pilot Katherine Stinson and her Curtiss Stinson Special biplane, July 1918.
Courtesy of National Aviation Museum


The achievements of this young American pilot were considerable. At a time when women were not considered "scientific" enough to understand how to drive a car, Katherine Stinson was flying an airplane solo. Her skill and determination proved that flying was not reserved for the male sex.



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