Up. A True Story of Aviation.
Strasburg, Virginia: Shenandoah Publishing House, 1931. First edition of this history of early aviation. With frontispiece and dozens of illustrations throughout, including many full- and half-page photo reproductions. Binding is clean and attractive. A remarkably bright and fine copy, signed by the author (“Jack Stearns Gray”), in the very good original dustjacket. Publisher’s pictorial blue cloth stamped in silver. Octavo. xv, , 384 pp. Item #17448
In the foreword, Jack Stearns Gray (1890 – 1961) writes, “My first flight was over a part of the Adirondack Range in 1912; my last flight over Washington, D.C. in 1927. The first was made sitting on the wing—the last in a cockpit.” Gray was the first Virginia woman aviator to fly from Virginia soil and, along with her husband George A. Gray, traveled all over the eastern United States as barnstormers in their Wright Model B. Gray knew many of the major aviation pioneers, including Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Glenn Curtis, and the Wright brothers, and she records their stories in the present work. She also discusses her contemporary woman aviators including Elinor Smith, Ruth Nichols, Ruth Elder Camp, Opal Kunz, and many others. Gray writes in the foreword: “‘Jack’ is my nickname. I have borne with it, flown with it, and now I feel like it. Edith is my real name, but on only three rare occasions have I used it,” including “when I visited Ethel Roosevelt at the White House in 1908.” The present work was also praised by Lieutenant Commander Earle Ovington, the first U.S. Air Mail pilot, and Congressman R. Walton Moore.