Seth Kaller, Inc.

Inspired by History

Other Women's History and First Ladies Offerings


Other Great Gifts Offerings


Other Science, Technology, and Transportation Offerings


Aviation Pioneer Amelia Earhart Returns from European Tour with Publisher Husband
Click to enlarge:
Select an image:

This original black-and-white photograph pictures aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and her husband, publisher George P. Putnam, on the deck of a transatlantic steamship. On May 20, 1932, Earhart, who four years earlier had been the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic Ocean by airplane, set an aviation record by becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She flew 2,026 miles from Newfoundland to northern Ireland, where she was greeted by a farm laborer. When asked by a British reporter what her husband thought of her flying solo across the Atlantic, she replied, “I had to sell my husband the idea because he was not over-keen, but he did not put any obstacles in my way.

Joined by her husband, she departed on a triumphant tour of Europe. She was received by the Pope, entertained by royalty, and visited governments throughout Europe. After her tour, she and her husband boarded the Ile de France on June 14, 1932, and began their journey back to the United States. This photograph was taken on the deck of that ship and is inscribed “To M. William” by Earhart and also signed by her husband. They arrived to a ticker-tape parade in New York City on June 20. She then flew to Washington, D.C., where President Herbert Hoover presented her with a special gold medal from the National Geographic Society, and Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross.

AMELIA EARHART. Signed Photograph of Amelia Earhart and George P. Putnam, signed by both, June 24, 1932, French steamship Ile de France, Atlantic Ocean. 1 p., 9 x 6.75 in.

Inventory #27329       Price: $10,000

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) was born in Kansas and developed a passion for adventure at a young age. She gained flying experience in the 1920s and in 1928 became the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic Ocean by airplane. Four years later, she became the first female pilot to make a nonstop solo transatlantic flight, for which she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1931, she married publisher George P. Putnam after he had proposed to her several times. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University. She was a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. During an attempt to fly around the world in 1937, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.

George Palmer Putnam (1887-1950) was born in New York into the family of his namesake grandfather who founded the prominent publishing firm that became G. P. Putnam’s Sons. He studied at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1911, he married Dorothy Binney (1888-1982), and they had two sons. He was the publisher and editor of a newspaper in Bend, Oregon, and served as mayor of Bend from 1912-1913. He later moved to New York City and joined the family publishing business. During World War I, he served with the Army field artillery. In 1926, he led an expedition to the Arctic up the western coast of Greenland, and in 1927 led another to Baffin Island. In 1927, he published Charles Lindbergh’s autobiography We, which became one of the most successful non-fiction books of all time. That same year, his wife traveled to South America and began a much-publicized affair with a much younger man. In 1929, he divorced her. In 1928, philanthropist, suffragist, and aviation enthusiast Amy Phipps Guest commissioned Putnam with finding a female aviator whom she could sponsor to make the first flight by a woman across the Atlantic Ocean. He identified Amelia Earhart, and after her flight across the Atlantic, he offered to help her write a book about the accomplishment, which was published as 20 Hrs., 40 Min. (1928). Shortly after his divorce, Putnam and Earhart made their relationship official but did not marry until 1931, after he had asked her several times. He also organized public engagements and speaking tours for Earhart. He also published two other books about flying that Earhart wrote, The Fun of It (1932) and Last Flight (1937). He also published Soaring Wings: A Biography of Amelia Earhart (1939). After Earhart was declared dead in January 1939, Putnam married Jean-Marie Cosigny James in May of that year, but they divorced in 1945. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer. He later married Margaret Havilland, and they operated a resort in Death Valley, California until his death.

Condition: Minor edgewear; minor chipping; two approximately 1-in. closed tears to the bottom edge; pencil notation on verso; lightly scratched.

Provenance: From the estate of record-breaking aviator, and Earhart author Elgen M. Long and his wife, fellow Earhart scholar Marie K. Long.

Add to Cart Ask About This Item Add to Favorites