Scope and Content of Collection and Container List
Collection number: 525
Title: Elizabeth Lippincott McQueen papers
Bulk Dates: (bulk 1927-1949).
McQueen, Elizabeth Lippincott (Mrs. Ulysses
1 archive box + 1 oversize box
(0.5 linear foot).
Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd
Abstract: Photographs, correspondence, writings, clippings, and other
materials, chiefly 1927-1949, relating to women in aviation, created and collected
by Elizabeth L. (Mrs. Ulysses Grant) McQueen in the course of her activities as
founder and honorary president of the Women's International Association of
Aeronautics (WIAA) and as principal organizer of the 1929 Women's Air
Physical location: Please consult repository.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Special
Box #, item #, Elizabeth Lippincott McQueen papers. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd
Library, Claremont University Consortium.
Date and method of acquisition unknown.
Collection processed by Michael Palmer, April 2010.
Elizabeth Lippincott was born in Pennington, New Jersey, on September 26, 1878, the
daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Crispin Lippincott, DD, and his second wife, Deborah
Diverty. She graduated from Pennington Seminary in 1898, and in March 1900 married
Ulysses Grant McQueen (1864-1937), a wealthy inventor and manufacturer in New York
City. The couple lived in New York City until 1928, when they moved to Beverly
Hills, California. During World War I, Mrs. McQueen served in war relief work in
Palestine under Field Marshal Allenby. In 1919 she founded the
Jerusalem News, the first English-language newspaper in
Mrs. McQueen became interested in aviation when in 1920 she witnessed seven airplanes
"take the place of two British regiments of soldiers" in routing a large number of
rebel Arab cavalry in the desert near Aden. "A vision, mental and spiritual, came to
me of millions of women with the hands upraised acclaiming: 'Save my son from war,
save my son from war, save my son from war!' I mentally saw these women's faces and
hands upraised far into space and heard their voices entreating me. This vision has
never left me. Then and there I dedicated my life to aeronautics as an instrument
for World Peace."
In September 1928, Mrs. McQueen organized the Women's Aeronautic Association of
California, which was soon followed by similar organizations in New York, Arizona,
New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Canada, England, France, Germany,
Australia, and New Zealand. On May 23, 1929, she organized the Women's International
Association of Aeronautics (WIAA), which became the principal focus of her
activities for the rest of her life. Mrs. McQueen served as "founder and honorary
president" of the WIAA; presidents of the association were, in turn, prominent
British aviator Lady Mary Heath (1929-1932), British reporter Lady Grace Hay
Drummond-Hay (1932-1940), educator Dr. Mary Sinclair Crawford (1940-1947), actress
Mary Pickford (1947-1949), airplane manufacturing executive Olive Ann Beech
(1949-1954), and pioneer aviator Matilde Moisant (1954-). A junior division of the
WIAA was organized in 1931; members under 7 years old were called "tailwinds", those
from 7 through 20 years old "zoomers".
In 1929, Mrs. McQueen and Lady Heath appealed to the Federation Aeronautique
Internationale in Paris to have women's air records recognized, an appeal that was
ultimately successful. At the same time, in order to arouse greater interest in
women's flying, Mrs. McQueen conceived the idea and was one of the principal
organizers of the first Women's Air Derby from Santa Monica, California, to the 1929
National Air Races in Cleveland. 20 female aviators took part in this forerunner to
the Powder Puff Derby, the winners being Louise Thaden and, in the lighter aircraft
category, Phoebe Omlie.
In 1932 and 1933, Mrs. McQueen published a column, "Happy Contacts", concerning women
and aviation, in the monthly magazine
Speed; she also
published several articles in t
The Air Pilot in 1933.
In July 1933, Mrs. McQueen, who in 1929 had been deputized as the first aerial
policewoman in the world by Police Chief Charles Blair of Beverly Hills, organized
the Women's Aerial Police Association, whose members were deputized to assist the
civil authorities in times of emergency. From March 1940 to February 1941, she also
undertook a Goodwill Tour to Mexico and Central and South America, on which she
publicly read a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt and met with many pioneer female
From approximately 1942 to approximately 1947, Mrs. McQueen resided in the Mission
Inn, in Riverside, California, the location of the International Shrine of Aviators
and the Famous Fliers' Wall. By the late 1940s, she had returned to her house on
Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills.
Ulysses Grant McQueen died in April 1937, and about 1955 Mrs. McQueen married Dr.
Irving Reed Bancroft, a prominent retired physician. She died at her home in Hermosa
Beach, California, on December 24, 1958, aged 80, after a long period of declining
health. Her ashes are interred in the Portal of the Folded Wing in Pierce Brothers
Valhalla Cemetery, in North Hollywood. Although she had devoted her life to
furthering the role of women in aviation, she had never obtained a pilot's
Scope and Content of Collection and Container List
The bulk of the collection consists of photographs, together with considerably
smaller amounts of correspondence, writings, clippings, and other materials relating
to women in aviation, created and collected by Elizabeth L. (Mrs. Ulysses Grant)
McQueen. The materials were at an undetermined time, and for an unknown reason,
separated from the bulk of Mrs. McQueen's papers, which now form the Women's
International Association of Aeronautics (WIAA) Collection, No. 55, Special
Collections Department, Doheny Library, University of Southern California. Many of
the photographs can be identified in a typescript list in the WIAA Collection. The
descriptions in the list often refer to Mrs. McQueen as "the author", which suggests
that it is an inventory of materials intended by Mrs. McQueen to illustrate her
planned but unrealized history of women in aviation.
Because of its small size, the collection is arranged as a single series divided into
four groups, as follows: (1) People, (2) Organizations, (3) Events, and (4) Printed
Matter. The first group (People) constitutes approximately two-thirds of the
collection, and is arranged alphabetically by name. Most folders contain very few
items, usually one or more photographs, correspondence, or a biographical account;
the contents of each folder is indicated in the container list. The biographical
accounts were often written by Mrs. McQueen, and many appeared in her "Happy
Contacts" column in
Speed (1932-1933). Of particular
interest are the materials relating to Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes, Alys McKey
Bryant, and Evelyn "Bobbie" Trout. The photographs of Mrs. McQueen include portraits
of her in flying attire, in fancy dress, and with her parrot, Dick. Mrs. McQueen's
writings include an undated account of aflight from Seattle to Juneau.
The second group (Organizations) contains materials, almost exclusively photographs,
relating to the Women's Aerial Police Association and to the Women's International
Association of Aeronautics (WIAA). The materials relating to the women's aerial
police include a 1994 account written by Gail F. Ryan-Johnson (added by the
Honnold/Mudd Special Collections staff), an autographed photograph of Beverly Hills
Police Chief Charles Blair, who had deputized Mrs. McQueen in 1929, and photographs
of the dedication of a placque honoring the Association at the Mission Inn,
Riverside, in 1938. The records of the WIAA include minutes of the annual Board of
Directors meetings for 1953-1955 (the minutes for 1955 are missing the first page).
The photographs include the Blind Flying Challenge Cup presented by Lady
Drummond-Hay; an undated (but almost certainly 1934) gala luncheon, probably at the
Del Mar Club in Santa Monica, attended by many of the leading pioneer women aviators
of the day; meetings of the WIAA Board and of the general membership at the Mission
Inn, Riverside (1946-1947); and the "Annual Aeronautical Literary Contest in All
Languages", sponsored by the WIAA (1947 and 1949).
The third group (Events) contains photographs of events not necessarily attended by
Mrs. McQueen or associated with the WIAA. The majority date between 1933 and 1936,
and include the visit of the brothers Auguste and Jean Piccard to the University of
Southern California, the 99s visiting the Famous Fliers' Wall at the Mission Inn,
Riverside, and several breakfasts at the Los Angeles Breakfast Club, honoring Air
Commodore P.F.M. Fellowes; Col. Roscoe Tanner, Clyde Pangborn, and Thea Rasche; Sir
Charles Kingsford-Smith; and Lady Drummond-Hay. Other events include the victory of
Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes in the Bendix Trophy Race, Mrs. McQueen's Goodwill
Tour of Central and South America (1940), and a luncheon for Mrs. Amy Oris Earhart
The fourth group (Printed Matter) consists of a single 1929 magazine clipping, 4
issues of an unidentified Japanese-language publication, and the 15th anniversary
issue (1944) of the WIAA newsletter,
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Bendix Trophy Race
Bryant, Alys McKey, 1880-1954
Drummond-Hay, Grace M., Lady Hay,
McQueen, Elizabeth Lippincott (Mrs.
Ulysses Grant), 1878-1958
Noyes, Blanche, 1988-1981
Rasche, Thea, 1899-1971
Thaden, Louise, 1906-1979
Trout, Evelyn, 1906-2003
Women air pilots
Women's Aerial Police Association
Women's International Association of
James Carruthers Memorial Aviation Collection of the Institute of Aeronautical
History, Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Claremont.
The bulk of Mrs. McQueen's papers constitute the Women's International Association of
Aeronautics Collection, No. 55, held by the Special Collections Department, Doheny
Memorial Library, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.