Visit Susan’s Barnstormer Pintrest Page for photographic inspiration of the 1920s style, locations, aircraft, 1920s Hollywood, and historical information
- Susan’s own brush with aviation and inspiration for young Henry:
I knew a man much like young Henry, a man in love with the sky and machines. My father was a private pilot and spent hours and hours in our garage building and restoring aircraft which he then flew over our town. Much as the barnstormers in this book he operated on a shoestring budget and loved the feel of wind in his hair. Many a calm evening in my childhood were spent flying alongside him, usually in a Piper J-3 Cub with the door open (which was possible because it was a tandem two-seater with a door split horizontally. One half would swing up and latch onto the wing and the other swung down against the fuselage. Our airport was a grass landing strip with a single corrugated-metal building that housed two planes (and sometimes bales of hay). The other three or so planes were tied down outdoors. Gasoline had to be hauled to the planes in 5 gallon cans or purchased at a larger airport ten miles away. We took off over a large cow pasture. (Unfortunately for Dad, he once had a crash right there among the cows, no injuries but to his pride. There was water in the gas…every pilots worry.) I didn’t inherit his love of being in the air, but my experiences with him and his airplane buddies gave me a glimpse into the passion that fuels fliers. Dad was a rebel,
loved to fly too low for regulations.
He built and restored many of his flying machines in our horse-and-buggy era garage.
I’m pretty sure if he’d lived in the 1920s, he would have been a barnstormer.
- Are you interested in seeing one of the few surviving Jennies being restored? Visit aviator and restoration guru Brian Karli’s blog Lots of great flying videos too!
- Want to see a real Jenny fly at those 1920’s hair-raising speeds? You can just imagine this plane pitted against Cora’s Henderson Motorcycle and hers is a video of it running.
- Click here for actual Roaring Twenties Barnstormer footage and here is a woman saving a Jenny from disaster in the 1920s