Alys McKey Bryant Photographs

Alys McKey Bryant (1880–1954) began taking flying lessons in the summer of 1912 in a Curtiss biplane after answering an ad stating "Wanted: young lady to learn to fly for exhibition purposes." She was interviewed and hired by Fred Bennett and his pilot, John Bryant, of the Bennett Aero Company of Palms, California. She flew her first exhibition flight at North Yakima, Washington, on May 3, 1913, and on May 29, she secretly married John Bryant. Bryant was the first woman to fly in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, and in Canada, where she performed for the Prince of Wales and Duke of York. In Seattle, she set a new women's altitude record of 884 meters (2,900 feet). Following the death of her husband in August of 1913, she stopped flying. She later returned to do a few movie flights in Seattle and then permanently retired from flying. Bryant was also a deep-sea diver; she dove in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, exploring shipwrecks and removing defunct water pipes.