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Louise McPhetridge Thaden Collection, 1925-1949


Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of photographs, news clippings, and correspondence documenting Thaden's aviation career.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Aeronautics
  • Women in aeronautics

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives


No restrictions on access


Thaden, Louise (McPhetridge) 1905-1979


  • Ninety-Nines (Organization)
  • United States Civil Air Patrol
  • National Women's Air Derby 1929
  • Bendix Trophy

Physical description

  • 2.18 cubic feet (2 records center boxes)
  • 2.08 linear feet


  • 1925
  • 1925-1945
  • 1925-1949


Louise McPhetridge Thaden (1905-1979) distinguished herself as an aviatrix who set a number of speed and endurance records in the early years of aviation. In December 1928 she set a new altitude record of 20,260 feet. Three months later she set a new US women's endurance record, remaining aloft in a Travel Air 3000 for 22 hours, 3 minutes. In the 1929 National Women's Air Derby she flew a Travel Air B-4000 to a first-place victory, then set a refueling duration record (with Frances Marsalis) at 196 hours, a light plane speed record (100 km), and a new east-west speed record. In 1936 she became the first woman to win the Bendix Trophy, flying a Wright-powered Beech C17R Staggerwing. Thaden was a founder and charter member of the Ninety-Nines (VP, 1931-33), and later was closely associated with the Civil Air Patrol and Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS; member, 1959-61).


  • Correspondence
  • Collection descriptions
  • Diaries
  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • Maps
  • Scrapbooks
  • Periodicals

Local number

  • XXXX-0006
  • 1986-0042
  • 1986-0118

Finding Aids

Online Finding Aid