Olive Beech was a remarkable woman—hired as an office manager by the nascent and not-too-later non-existent Travel Air Company she would helm Beechcraft after the death of Walter Beech. Surely this is the first example of a woman running an aircraft manufacturer in a field that is, today, still male-dominated. Yet Olive Beech's relative obscurity seems to imply that she lived a life with very little worth remembering.

Of course, it's tempting to think that only if I do something that will be remembered through the ages have I done something of note, an assumption we often will admit is wrong, and, often will believe almost simultaneously with the former. The pictures Theresa and I discovered in an antique shop are a window into the lives of people who did not rise to the level of fame as Mother Theresa or notoriety as a serial killer.

Let this small post be a tribute to the people whose lives were tied together by this story, the aircraft involved, and Mrs. Beech's attempt to bring the world's first business jet to the US. And, an attempt to answer that question that has haunted people forever: where are the ones who have gone before us?

(because each post has a significant number of pictures, I've had to separate them out, click for the full post)

  1. F-WGVO, Serial #1
  2. N-776K, Serial #3
  3. N760H, Serial #5
  4. F-WJAB, Serial #6
  5. Celeste and John H. Patton