Many moons ago, I wrote about Airlene. She was born in an airplane in 1929.
Many of the sources I consulted for that post explicitly stated that Airlene was the first baby born in an airplane. I hadn’t seen any contradictory evidence at the time, so I assumed this was true.
Just the other day, though, I discovered that a French baby had been born in an airplane in the summer of 1922 — seven years earlier.
The French baby was the son of Madame Georges Breyer of Lyon. She was staying at a seaside resort in Southern Italy when she went into labor. She chartered a plane northward to Naples, and gave birth 40 miles south of Naples and 6,000 feet over the Mediterranean.
She said she would name the baby Guynemer, in honor of famous French military aviator Georges Guynemer.
This news was printed in papers all over the U.S. for a day or two. Then…nada. No follow-up, no interviews, no extra details. I’ve had no luck tracking down the mom, the baby, or even the Breyer family of Lyon — at least not in any of the English-languages sources I’ve checked. (Anyone want to do a quick search of French or Italian sources for me?)
As far as I know, Airlene is still the first U.S. airplane baby. But it looks like Guynemer could be the world’s first airplane baby, if this story checks out.
I’ll let you know if/when I have any updates…
Source: “Boy Born in an Airplane 6000 Feet Above the Sea.” Providence News 1 Jul. 1922: 1.
From a short article printed in several newspapers in mid-1929:
This Anatolian city [Konya] wins the prize for “modernization” with the recent bestowal upon a boy of the name of “Railroad.” He was born on a train.
I wish they’d given the actual name–whatever the Turkish word for “railroad” is. (The internet is telling me the word is demiryolu.)
Source: “The Globe Trotter.” Evening Tribune 7 Jul. 1929: 6.
From a 1923 issue of the Boston Globe:
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sole of Newark N. J. named their baby after the cities they visited on their honeymoon. Francisco Washington Boston Newark Sole is the burden wished on the mite.
For those who traveled to multiple locales on their honeymoons: If you used this formula to come up with a baby name, what would the name be?
Source: “Odd Items From Everywhere.” Boston Globe 5 Dec. 1923: 24.
Here’s a bizarre tale for you.
Alfred Johnson of Chicago took his wife, Alice, to divorce court in 1943 after she’d had him arrested 12 different times over the course of their 24-year marriage.
The stories behind the arrests weren’t just recounted in court, but also published in several newspapers.
The first time his wife had him jailed, he told the court, was in 1919, a few months after their wedding.
He had given her $6 for a new dress, he said, but she refused to go on a vacation with him because she wanted a better dress.
“She ran out of the house and pretty soon the police came and took me off to jail,” Johnson said.
Here’s another arrest:
In 1922, Johnson and his wife argued over his bridge playing at a card party.
“Again I was arrested,” he told the court.
And, finally, the baby name arrest:
In 1925 they argued about their baby’s name.
“I was to name the boys and she was to name the girls,” he said. “I name our son Frank and got a letter from the Board of Health saying his name was Frank Robert. I asked her about it and landed in jail again.”
Too bad the articles didn’t offer Alice’s side of the story. Especially on the baby name arrest. (I wonder why she felt compelled to throw “Robert” in there…)
- “Alfred Objects to Wife’s Habit of Jailing Him.” Chicago Daily Tribune 28 May 1943: 2.
- “Dozen Arrests Annoy Husband.” Telegraph-Herald 28 May 1943: 2.
Image: caged by Dave Nakayama
Two babies born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 29, 1927, were named Maitland. Why?
Because pilot Lt. Lester Maitland had just landed in Honolulu after piloting the very first transpacific flight from the mainland to the islands.
He and navigator Lt. Albert Hegenberger had left San Francisco, California, early on June 28. They flew 2,400 miles in about 24 hours.
(This was just five weeks after Charles Lindbergh’s famous solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.)
The babies’ full names were Maitland Paul Stearns and Maitland Albert Jowell (Albert for Hegenberger).
- “Active Day for Flyers to Islands.” Los Angeles Times 2 Jul. 1927: 1.
- “Honolulu Baby Is Named for Pacific Aviators.” Evening News [San Jose] 12 Jul. 1927: 7.
- Lt. Lester Maitland – Hawaii Aviation