Amelia Earhart: 'Trans-oceanic flying is inevitable - possibly within the next decade'

Amelia Earhart is well-remembered by aviation fans as a pioneer of the pursuit, setting several records including that of being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, and as a result the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Fascination with her life, apparently cut short when she disappeared during an attempted round-the-world flight, continues, and female astronauts have taken pieces of Earhart memorabilia into space with them as a tribute.

Collectors are therefore always interested in opportunities to get hold of materials relating to Earhart, and an excellent opportunity to do just that has arisen at Sotheby's.

As part of their extraordinary Rare Books and Manuscripts auction which offers autographed letters from J D Salinger and René Magritte alongside John Lennon lyrics, a typed letter signed by Earhart (TLS) is on offer.

In it she responds to the questions of Jesse Heiges, who was associated with Teachers College in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

Amelia Earheart letter
Amelia Earheart signed letter

Earhart's replies include a prediction about trans-oceanic flight (as a means of transport, not as a feat) "Trans-oceanic flying is inevitable, and will probably come sooner than the most sanguine believes, very possibly within the next decade."

Earhart's letter is dated June 1929, and she had undertaken her remarkable flight across the Atlantic a year earlier.

Earhart finishes the letter with some intriguing thoughts on endurance flights, very suitable for a pioneer:

"In all the endurance flights made, the machine has worn out before the human being which fact is in itself a striking example of what the body can accomplish. The individual himself, in the flight, becomes the subject of a laboratory experiment."

The letter will appear in the New York sale tomorrow, carrying a relatively modest estimate of $3,000-5,000, accompanied by an album containing note cards signed by a number of early 20th century Americans including manned flight pioneer Orville Wright, as well as Presidents FD Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge.

Collectors and investors will also wish to take a look at this signed photograph of Earhart, which is currently on the market.


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