Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

EThis collection consists of 48 copy photographs with copy negatives, mostly from the 1930s, of Thaden. Subjects included in the prints are as follows: her fellow woman pilots, including Amelia Earhart, Blanche Noyes, Ruth Elder, and Florence Barnes; her Beech C17R Staggerwing, Beech Travel Air, and a Porterfield Model 35 aircraft; and a few photographs of her family. The collection also includes a citation and a copy of the portrait painted for Thaden's investiture into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame at the San Diego Aerospace Museum, as well as a video tape of her induction.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Aeronautics
  • Women in aeronautics

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Thaden, Louise (McPhetridge) 1905-1979


  • Earhart, Amelia 1897-1937
  • Elder, Ruth
  • Barnes, Florence Lowe "Pancho"
  • Noyes, Blanche Wilcox

Physical description

.10 cubic feet (2 folders)


  • 1928
  • 1928-1973


Louise McPhetridge Thaden (1905-1979) distinguished herself as a pilot 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).

Cite as

Louise Thaden Photograph Collection, Accession 1989-0132, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560


  • Photographs
  • Collection descriptions
  • Video recordings

Local number