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  • Roy, Gladys.
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    Gladys Roy Collection 1911-1927
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    Roy, Gladys.
    Gladys Roy Collection 1911-1927
    Phy. Description: 
    .23 cubic feet (1 box)
    Bio / His Notes: 
    Gladys Roy (1902?-1927) was a barnstormer during the 1920s, performing mostly in the Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Los Angles and Hollywood, California area. Roy became a parachute jumper in 1921 and later a wing-walker, most famous for dancing the Charleston and for playing tennis on the upper wing of an airplane in flight. According to her letterhead, she was the holder of the world's low record parachute jump and she also completed a parachute jump from 17,000 feet. The Western Vaudeville Managers' Association was Roy's booking agent, and they booked her into fairs across the West. Roy was also did stunt work for Lord Motor Car Company as well as exhibition work for John P. Mills Real estate and for various other real estate exhibitions and auctions. She was in the movie business, appearing in "The Fighting Ranger" (1925), but was thrown from a horse during the production and seriously injured. She was the sister of Robert "Lee," Charles "Les," and Chadwick "Chad" Smith, all prominent pilots from Minnesota who flew for Northwest Airlines and were inducted in the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. Roy and Lt. Delmar Synder were planning a flight from New York to Rome, but unfortunately Roy died in Ohio on August 15, 1927 when she walked into the spinning propeller of an aircraft that was sitting on the ground
    The following items are included: panoramic image of an air field; 1926 Christmas card from Marion Nixon; correspondence between Roy and her family (1924-1926); correspondence from Charles Smith (Roy's father) to her mother; correspondence from Western Vaudeville Managers' Association; one photograph of Roy posed with group of women and three of Charles Smith; receipts for purchases by Roy; a Liberty Loan Bond Certificate for Charles Smith; a piece of film showing Roy doing a sit-up on top of a building; and a few newspaper articles.
    Cite as: 
    Gladys Roy Collection, Accession number 2005-0011, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
    No restrictions on access.
    Women in aeronautics
    Women air pilots
    Stunt flying
    Form / Genre: 
    Photographic prints
    Repository Loc: 
    National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560
    Local Number: 
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    National Air & Space Museum Archives2005-0011Add Copy to MyList

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