women in aviation and space history

Mrs. Hart O. Berg

Wilbur Wright and Mrs. Edith Berg
National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Mrs. Hart O. Berg

Early Flight (107)

When Mrs. Hart O. Berg watched Wilbur Wright demonstrate the Wright Flyer at Le Mans, France, she was so thrilled by the performance that she asked Wilbur for a ride. Thus, in September 1908, she became the first American woman to fly as a passenger in an airplane, soaring for two minutes and seven seconds. Seated in the right seat of the aircraft, she tied a rope securely around her skirt at her ankles to keep it from blowing in the wind during the flight. A French fashion designer watching the flight was impressed with the way Mrs. Berg walked away from the aircraft with her skirt still tied. Mrs. Berg was then credited with inspiring the famous "Hobble Skirt" fashion.

(information compiled by D. Cochrane and P. Ramirez)