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Ellen Church
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (September 22, 1904-August 22, 1965)
    Born in Cresco, Iowa
    Licensed pilot and nurse
    Hired by Boeing Air Transport as the first stewardess (May 15, 1930)
    She originally applied for a co-pilot job, but the airline refused to hire a woman for the position.
    Her suggestion that female stewardesses would calm passengers' fears of flying was based partly on sexism: If it's safe for a girl to fly, surely it's safe for you, Mister Business Traveler.
    Because of the early planes' low ceilings and narrow aisles, Boeing mandated that stewardesses could not weigh more than 115 pounds or be taller than 5'4.
    She died from injuries suffered in a horse riding accident.
    Stewardess duties in those days included loading luggage, fueling planes and helping pilots push the planes into their hangars.
    She ended up in charge of hiring flight attendants and developing standards for the job, becoming one of the first women in a management position in the aviation industry.
    She joined the Army Nurse Corps in World War II, helping evacuate wounded soldiers by airplane, earning the Air Medal.
    The airport in her home town was named after her.

Credit: C. Fishel

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