Don't forget about the moms in your life this Sunday!

Photograph of a woman pilot hugging an older woman (her mother).

Don't forget about the moms in your life this Sunday! We're getting an early jump on Mother's Day today with this photograph of pilot Elinor Smith and her mom, Elinor Regina Patricia Ward, captured by Acme Newspictures on April 25, 1931.

By the time this photograph was taken, Smith's accomplishments were extensive enough to make any mother proud. After becoming the world's youngest licensed pilot in the world at age 16, "The Flying Flapper of Freeport" became the first female test pilot for the Fairchild and Bellanca aircraft companies, where she established a reputation for stunt flights and breaking flight records. This photograph was taken at Roosevelt Field in New York, following a successful attempt to set a flight endurance record.

In the years after this photo was taken, Smith would become the third person (and first woman) granted the national honor of being featured on a box of Wheaties cereal. But after getting married in 1933, she became a mother herself, and temporarily retired from flight. Following the death of her husband in 1956 however, Smith took to the skies once again, piloting training jets for the Air Force Association's paratroop maneuvers. Her final flight before her death in 2010 was the piloting of an experimental military plane at Langley Air Force Base at age 89.

This item is part of Hagley Library’s Lammot du Pont collection of aeronautical photographs (Accession 1975.360). Lammot du Pont, Jr. (1909-1964) assembled a large collection of books, manuscripts, prints, drawings and photographs relating to the history of aeronautics from the first balloon flights through the 1940s.

This collection has not been digitized in its entirety.The online collection primarily consists of photographs that depict subjects such as airplanes, balloons and dirigibles, seaplanes, male and female pilots, long-distance and round-the-world flights, airplane crashes, air races, flying instruction, and the Arctic schooner Effie M. Morrissey. Nearly all of the photographs are news service images, many accompanied by original caption information. You can view more digitized material from this collection on its page in our Digital Archive.