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First American female pilot celebrated at Glenn Curtiss museum

The aviator is being recognized at the local museum for Women's History Month.

HAMMONDSPORT, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Blanche Stuart Scott became the first female aviator in the United States in 1910. 

A woman of many firsts, she broke the glass ceiling in the early 1900's and even helped create the Glenn H. Curtiss museum. 

Her legacy is currently being showcased at the Hammondsport museum this month in honor of Women's History Month. 

The museum has a full exhibit on women in aviation and front and center is Scott's mannequin in one of her former cars. 

"She was taught by Glen Curtiss here in Hammondsport and she was a Rochester native," Museum Curator Rick Leisenring said. "She grew up in Rochester and her official nickname was 'Tomboy of the Air.'"

The pioneer was known to be opinionated, independent, and headstrong but yet very lovable at the same time. 

Leisenring says she thought she could always do things just as equal to a man or better.

Despite never having a pilot's license, the curator says she was the first woman to make a long distance flight and was the first female stunt flier. She was also the first woman to drive across the country from east to west and had a female newspaper reporter accompany her.

The museum has one of her cars on display. It's not the same car she drove cross-country in, but it looks similar. The vehicle she drove from New York to San Francisco read, "The car, the girl and the wide, wide world" on its side.

Scott wrote about the experience in a book titled '5,000 miles.' The museum has the original copy and it's in the same casing as her gloves and helmet. 

With the exhibit, the museum hopes to send this message to young girls:

"You're just as good as a man and there's no reason why you should not pursue your dreams," Leisenring said. "Blanche pursued her dreams."

And to add even more to her resume, Scott was also an actress plus an on-air news reporter in both radio and television. 


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