Photo Essays

Flying Over Union Square :

playing with archival material from the Congress Archive Library

On an overcast day of March 1911, the already famous Helene Dutrieu set up for the first main flight over Manhattan. She was no beginner. After a successful career as a world champion cyclist, she had taken on aviation in 1908. In 1910, she had become the fourth woman in the world to hold an aviation license. A scandalous revelation about her not wearing a corset while flying had completed her reputation.

Her largely publicized flight over Manhattan is certainly one of the biggest sport event of the pre war era. It had been publicized in the press for weeks, and when the day finally came, Union Square was packed. There were people from all social backgrounds, incredulous and angry men, enthusiastic suffragettes (at the time, some even wanted Dutrieu to run for Presidency, despite her being Belgian… ) who had been warmly supporting Dutrieu from the start – despite her having always said she did not care about politics.

Here are some of the shots taken on that occasion, from the Library of Congress archives.

Franks HairStylist :

one morning at one of the oldest hairstylists’ place in Greenwich Village

NB : I could not get hold of a Canon LSD camera, so I did with my own digital camera, that is far from being as good – hence the so-so quality of the pictures. They looked better before being exported to QuickTime, though.


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