Archives On The Air 52: Amelia Earhart's Predictions—Toppan Rare Books Library

Aug 28, 2018

Autographed photograph of Amelia Earhart posing on the side of an airplane, circa 1920s-1930s. Amelia Earhart photo file.
Credit American Heritage Center

In 1932 Amelia Earhart published a book called The Fun of It. The book is not hard to come by. You can check out a copy at the library, buy it on Amazon, etc.

But none of those books are signed by Earhart, and they are likely missing the vinyl record in the back that contains a recording of Earhart.

Earhart and her flying companion Wilmer Stultz in New Jersey being awarded for their transatlantic flight commission. From left to right: New Jersey Governor A. Harry Moore, Amelia Earhart, Wilmer Stultz, and Mrs. Moore, 1928. Amelia Earhart photo file.
Credit American Heritage Center

The Toppan Rare Books Library at UW’s American Heritage Center owns a signed copy of Earhart’s book that details her life as a female flyer.

The end of the book provides Earhart’s predictions for the future of air travel after 1930.

She predicts the development of rocket planes, planes with retractable wings, and planes that would fly over 200 miles per hour with 162 passengers. On the other hand, her interviewee is simply amazed that people could drink tea on airplanes in 1930.

Earhart’s “prophecies” in the book were wildly and wittingly accurate. She predicted airplane automation, radar and weather improvement, as well as future airplane speeds.

You can read Earhart’s anecdotes for yourself, see her signature, and listen to the 1932 broadcast of her voice by making an appointment with the Toppan Rare Books Library at UW’s American Heritage Center.