Project Title

Jane Dulaney Hilbert: Appalachian Aviator

Authors' Section

Jessica NewellFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Jessica Newell: Master of Liberal Studies Program, Archival Studies Concentration

Location

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137A

Start Date

4-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2018 9:15 AM

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Marie Tedesco

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Master of Liberal Studies, School of Continuing Education

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Arts and Humanities

Abstract Text

Jane Dulaney Hilbert: Appalachian Aviator

Jessica Newell

The Archives of Appalachia preserves the papers of Jane Dulaney Hilbert (1911-2004) who was a prominent aviator in the Tri-Cities area during the formative years of commercial air travel. Born in Bristol, Hilbert took up flying in 1930 when a local businessman offered her lessons to increase publicity for his airfield. Hilbert was one of the first women in Virginia to earn a pilot’s license and soon after joined Eastern Air Transport as a flight attendant. She later became American Airlines’ first female airport manager and trained servicemen, including students from East Tennessee State University, to fly during the Second World War. She and her husband Joseph Louis Hilbert ran the Appalachian Flying Service at Tri-Cities Airport from 1937 to 1968. This paper seeks to shed light on Hilbert’s contributions to the development of commercial air transport in East Tennessee. Furthermore, pilots like Hilbert often faced obstacles when attempting to join the male-dominated aviation industry. Her story reflects the international conversation about the capabilities of female aviators during the early twentieth century. This project draws on the correspondence, diaries, flight logs, official records, photographs, and news media held in the Joseph Louis and Jane Dulaney Hilbert Collection. The research involved studying these resources to understand Jane Dulaney Hilbert’s professional career and how it relates to the struggles of other female pilots. For example, the collection includes a 1937 issue of The New York Woman magazine in which Hilbert is interviewed about career prospects for women in aviation alongside Amelia Earhart. In addition, secondary sources about the history of commercial aviation, organizational theory about how the airlines tailored gender roles for pilots and support staff, and the development of flight in Eastern Tennessee place the discussion of Hilbert’s career within a wider historical and cultural context. Hilbert’s archival materials demonstrate that she played a significant role in the success of commercial aviation in Appalachia. This paper serves as a companion piece to a future exhibit at the Archives of Appalachia detailing her life and career using documents and artifacts from the collection. Overall, this project gives Jane Dulaney Hilbert deserved recognition as an inspirational Appalachian figure.

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Apr 4th, 9:00 AM Apr 4th, 9:15 AM

Jane Dulaney Hilbert: Appalachian Aviator

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137A

Jane Dulaney Hilbert: Appalachian Aviator

Jessica Newell

The Archives of Appalachia preserves the papers of Jane Dulaney Hilbert (1911-2004) who was a prominent aviator in the Tri-Cities area during the formative years of commercial air travel. Born in Bristol, Hilbert took up flying in 1930 when a local businessman offered her lessons to increase publicity for his airfield. Hilbert was one of the first women in Virginia to earn a pilot’s license and soon after joined Eastern Air Transport as a flight attendant. She later became American Airlines’ first female airport manager and trained servicemen, including students from East Tennessee State University, to fly during the Second World War. She and her husband Joseph Louis Hilbert ran the Appalachian Flying Service at Tri-Cities Airport from 1937 to 1968. This paper seeks to shed light on Hilbert’s contributions to the development of commercial air transport in East Tennessee. Furthermore, pilots like Hilbert often faced obstacles when attempting to join the male-dominated aviation industry. Her story reflects the international conversation about the capabilities of female aviators during the early twentieth century. This project draws on the correspondence, diaries, flight logs, official records, photographs, and news media held in the Joseph Louis and Jane Dulaney Hilbert Collection. The research involved studying these resources to understand Jane Dulaney Hilbert’s professional career and how it relates to the struggles of other female pilots. For example, the collection includes a 1937 issue of The New York Woman magazine in which Hilbert is interviewed about career prospects for women in aviation alongside Amelia Earhart. In addition, secondary sources about the history of commercial aviation, organizational theory about how the airlines tailored gender roles for pilots and support staff, and the development of flight in Eastern Tennessee place the discussion of Hilbert’s career within a wider historical and cultural context. Hilbert’s archival materials demonstrate that she played a significant role in the success of commercial aviation in Appalachia. This paper serves as a companion piece to a future exhibit at the Archives of Appalachia detailing her life and career using documents and artifacts from the collection. Overall, this project gives Jane Dulaney Hilbert deserved recognition as an inspirational Appalachian figure.