|This is not the plane she built, but similar.|
When you think of women firsts in aviation, Amelia Earhart comes to mind, as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928. But I’ll bet you did not know that Bessica Raiche beat Earhart by 18 years. Bessica was not only the first woman in the United States to fly solo, but she and her husband built the craft she would fly in their living room. Which, by the way, presented a problem when they realized they had not considered how they would get the silk, piano wire, and bamboo contraption out of the living room once it was built. They ended up dismantling it and reassembling outside.
This feat is not the only event that made Bessica one amazing woman. She was also the first woman to drive a car across the United States. And that’s not all. She excelled as a musician, artist and linguist—and, to the chagrin of both women and men of her time, shot guns. If that wasn’t enough, Bessica became a dentist, and later one of the first women to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology.
Mrs. Raiche had to give up flying for health reasons, but pursed her other passions until she died at the age of 57.