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1929 Amelia Earhardt Signed "Powder Puff Derby" Cover - First Women-Only Air Race
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $711.00
Rare 1929 "mourning" cover (in memory of Marvel Crosson), issued during the penultimate leg of the "Powder Puff Derby," signed by famed aviatrix Amelia Earhardt (1897-1937). Earhardt has signed the envelope in black fountain pen on the front, with the signature grading "9." This cover was issued in commemoration of the penultimate leg of the 1929 Women's Air Derby, more commonly known as the "Powder Puff Derby" (the term was coined by humorist Will Rogers), which was the first first official "women-only" air race ever held. A host of top female pilots took part in this race from Santa Monica to Cleveland, including Amelia Earhardt. The race began on August 18th and ended in Cleveland nine days later. Unfortunately, pilot Marvel Crosson died during the race when her plane crashed in the Arizona desert on August 19th. This envelope, which is postmarked "Columbus, Ohio/Aug 26 1929," features a special memorial stamp in Crosson's honor, which reads "In Memory of /Marvel Crosson." Additional printing on the envelope reads "Welcome/To Port Columbus/Women Derby Flyers/Santa Monica - Cleveland/Arrive Aug 25. (Columbus 1929) Depart Aug. 26." Earhardt was tied for the lead in the race with her friend Ruth Nichols when they arrived at Columbus. Upon take off for Cleveland, Nichols' plane crashed at the end of the runway and Earhardt was one of the rescuers who helped pull her out of the cockpit. Only when she was assured that Nichols was all right did Earhardt reluctantly continue the race. The delay resulted in her finishing third in the heavy-class division of the race. The envelope (6.5 x 3.5 inches) remains in extraordinary Near Mint condition. This a truly magnificent and historically significant Amelia Earhardt signed item commemorating her participation in the first ever women-only national air race. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $711.00
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