Women’s Aviation History Novelist Making Appearance at Glenn Curtiss Museum


Theasa Tuohy to sign new “Flying Jenny” book, meet the public on June 23

The author of a new novel about the history of women’s aviation is coming to the Glenn Curtiss Museum. Theasa Tuohy is the author of “Flying Jenny,” a 272-page book about the early days of women’s aviation history based loosely on her own mother’s spirited life as a pioneering pilot in the early 1930s.

Tuohy will be at the museum June 23, 2018 at 2 p.m. to sign copies of her book and to meet the public.

The heroes and heroines and the characters Tuohy brings to life in the book were derived from tales told to her by her mother, the daring, petite fire-cracker female pilot (named Theasa as well), who was a contemporary of Will Rogers and friend of Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world. Tuohy’s mother and namesake first soloed in 1929.

In “Flying Jenny,” Tuohy mentions many of the early planes, including products from the former Curtiss factory in Hammondsport, New York. The book also is timely as it profiles two strong, spirited women who take the words courage, adventure and guts to new heights. Set in New York and the Midwest, the novel is historically accurate with two fictional protagonists, debutante stunt pilot Jenny Flynn from the Southwest and New York tabloid reporter Laura Bailey, who grew up in the wild and wooly days of Bohemian Greenwich Village. They first clash when Jenny flies under Manhattan’s four East River bridges.

“Two grand ladies of the flying machines inspired my book, one was my mother and the other Elinor Smith,” said Tuohy, whose own mother rebelled against stunt flying and didn’t take any of this very seriously. At just 92 pounds, Tuohy says the seat belt on her mother’s plane was too big to secure her so she had to fly with a pillow behind her – a pillow she always worried would slip out when she flew upside down.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase for $15.95.

About the Museum

Open year-round, the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is located in the town of Hammondsport, New York, in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. The museum is home to a priceless collection of items related to early aviation, motorcycles and local history. It also celebrates the life and accomplishments of Glenn Curtiss, the father of naval aviation and a pioneer in motorcycle manufacturing. For more information, visit the museum’s website at curtissmuseum.org or call 607.569.2160.

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