The Memory Palace

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Episode 59:
Harriet Quimby

Jan 30, 2014

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Music, Footnotes & Ephemera

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18 Comments | Leave a Comment

18 Comments on Harriet Quimby

  1. Larry says:

    Considering the planes at those times – the Bleriot XI looks like something that Leonardo da Vinci designed, she was impressively brave. Impressive. Love the soundtrack.

  2. As always – loved the show. Every time I listen it reminds me why I work in Radio.

    BTW – what was the music in this episode?

  3. John Donne says:

    A wonderful snapshot. Thank you for this beautiful production.

  4. stuart steinhardt says:

    “Let’s remember” not to use that literary device again. After the first couple times I started to cringe each time you said it and made it hard to listen to an interesting story.

  5. Wow! I love this and hope to hear more. I want the world to know about Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world. She was from Ohio, and made the flight in a Cessna 180 in 1964, so this is the 50th anniversary! AND she’s alive and well at 88. Please consider telling her story too. Learn more at and thank you!

  6. Brian Kelley says:

    I blogged about my 8th grade students reaction to this piece today.

    We have so many questions for you about writing, writing for voice, delivery and tone, and your beautiful attention to poetry in your construction of narrative.

    We would love to talk to you via Skype, or Twitter, or something, some way.

    This is my blog on it:


  7. chris says:

    What is the name of the background music? I’ve been trying to find a good soundtrack for a short documentary on muscular dystrophy I’m doing and think this song would be perfect.

  8. Pingback: Worth A Listen: Top Audio Tracks for March 2014 | Listen Closely Productions

  9. Frank J. Merk says:

    Just heard this story. Made my Easter!

  10. LINDA says:


  11. Glee Willis says:

    And let’s remember that, while Harriet Quimby was a passenger in an automobile race in 1906, she probably took inspiration to carry out her famous flight across the English Channel in 1912 at age 36 from Alice Huyler Ramsey who, in 1909, at age 22 was the first woman to drive an automobile 3,600 miles across the United States (only 152 of which were paved). Alice was 21 when her husband presented her with a shiny new 1908 Maxwell and, after taking driving lessons at the local Maxwell dealership, she motored the roads of New Jersey, driving thousands of miles within the state in just one summer. When the dealership heard about Ramsey’s driving, she was asked to enter an automotive endurance test (the “Montauk Run”, a grueling 200-mile course because it was over sand dunes) in September 1908. She handled the vehicle masterfully, received a perfect score, and drew great media attention as one of only two women drivers in the event. One of the other drivers in the “Run” was the public relations man for the Maxwell car company who was amazed at Alice’s driving skill. A woman at the wheel in a contest was unprecedented. After this, Maxwell sales manager Cadwallader Washburn Kelsey asked Mrs Ramsey to undertake what became the biggest publicity stunt of the year, a cross-country drive from New York City to San Francisco, in a new Maxwell. Of all the publicity that it received in 2009, I dare you to not cry while you watch this video about the finale of the 100th anniversary reenactment of her feat by young mom, Emily Aderson:

    Indeed — let’s remember.

  12. I am an historical impersonator specializing in the stories of forgotten females and I loved this story. Though my style is quite different, I thoroughly enjoyed Nate DiMeo’s approach (which evoked the oral storytelling tradition). I look forward to more. Incidentally, if any listeners are curious about other amazing early female aviators, you can check out the links at

  13. Jay Sakong says:

    Chris, the name of the band is called Owel, and the song is called snowglobe. you can reach them at

  14. Sheila Go says:

    I don’t know why but this made me cry. Beautiful.

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  16. Pat Rigley says:

    Longtime admire of Harriet Quimby, and dare say, pretty much an expert on the subject at this point. Well done sir, you managed to capture Harriet’s essence and touch on all the high points in a scant three minutes and forty-five seconds. Admirable job. One little known fact for your listeners, Harriet had one surviving older sister, Catherine, whose eldest son has carried Harriet’s bloodline to this day.

  17. LacyJoy says:

    Thank you. This was really beautiful. I appreciated the simplicity and the call to remember Harriet for who she was and what she represented.
    Thank you.

  18. Mary A says:

    I am the daughter and granddaughter of pioneering aviators. I listened to the Harriet Quimby podcast three times in a row and then forwarded it to my Dad (a retired airtanker Captain). Wonderful! I especially loved the way the show closed … I felt like I was gliding through the air. Thank you.