TL;DR -- Most think of Ms Earhart as being from KS, however her parents had long pedigrees of New England, both north and south. She was a prodigy and wife of George P. Putnam. They supported the efforts of the Switlik Parachute Company which was started by a 20th century immigrant from Poland (Austria at the time). This link gives us a technology. We will make that type of connection for all of the centuries of the frontier. Why? The 21st century has already shown us new things. Do lessons from the past still make sense? Well, we really need to identify these first?
Amelia Earhart, from KS, will be part of our series on the Frontier century (post Lewis & Clark). We first looked at Amelia, in 2011, when "Gardner's Island" was mentioned with respect to her disappearance. There is a discussion of the naming on the Wikipedia page. Later, we were contacted by John Goff (Salem Preservationist) who had been searching, too, due to reports of findings that might be related to her loss. Since then, there have been other mentions in the media from time to time.
Recently, we noticed that a Switlik Parachute had a Putnam as an early investor with respect to training via a tower. Turns out that he was Amelia's husband and soon-to-be widower. Well, the name Putnam is old Salem; on a closer look, Amelia has a balanced pedigree from Maine to Virginia with stops in-between, CT, NY, MD, and PA.
|Amelia and chute drop|
(see history of parachute, below)
So, all three are cousins, of some sort to be sorted out (it's easy on this side of the pond since New England kept good records). Which brings up this adage: what's in a name? We'll get to that. The focus ought to be Poland, though, in its many configurations while the dynamics here played out (over 400 years). Switlik in Poland is like some families in Brit-ville and here: Gardner, Porter, even Davenport (several of that name) and others.
Aside: Former President Bush (1) used a Switlik when he was shot down in WWII.
For now, a few links:
- WikiTree - Profile for Amelia Earhart.
- New York Times - 3 Jun 1935, first parachute jump, using Switlik equipment
- ThoughtCo - History of the parachute
- Wikipedia - Stanley Switlik
- Switlik Parachute Co - Our story
Some of Amelia's lines are: Otis, Cornell, Swazey (Swayze). That last is a family that came to Salem and split. Not unusual. One part stayed in Salem and its surrounds. The other went to Long Island and branched from there. BTW, the journalist (TV) and the actor (dancer) are of the southern variety. We'll post more on the northern kin.
Relates to the west: Frontier century. As well, we will be looking more closely at work related to the 400ths in a different sense. First, we need to look across the board at the 70 or so towns and cities that came about in Massachusetts. Each has its own founding families and history. Too, on any day, we really could look at the 100th (say Amelia's time - end of the frontier century), 200th (start of the frontier century), 250th (Revolution with nods to DAR and SAR), 300th (that would have been not long after the Salem ordeal of the witches) and 400th.
A technology theme will be continual. Some might say spectral. What's next? Meaning, the 21st century? Computing plus human abilities long left ignored. However things start to unfold, lessons from the past will continue to be of importance, if only we paid attention.
Remarks: Modified: 04/23/2021
04/23/2021 -- Modified Putnam's involvement to the training venture.