The 1920’s are well known for social movements ranging from women’s rights and racial equality to fashion and art. One could even go so far as to say that the decade embodied the American Dream. America, as a whole, stepped forward. The first nonstop solo flight from Long Island to Paris, France was one such display of social advancement in this decade. However, it wasn’t an easy road to get there. Modern technology such as the Concorde Jet or any modern vehicle was not available at the time. The first affordable vehicle was invented in the 1920’s, signaling the start of a new age of technology and mechanics, an art in its own right.
With technology advancing, aviation began to rise in popularity. Many records were made and broken, including Amelia Earhart’s flight across the Atlantic, the altitude flight record and the highest recorded speed. But before all that, another record was made. On May 20, 1927, ...view middle of the document...
But even though he spent much of his time in the city, he preferred the outdoor freedom of home. As a child, he showed great interest and potential in the field of mechanics. He was interested in aviation from the first time he saw an airplane fly near his home; an interest that proved to be worth his time. His mother took him to see the air races when he was still young. He was hooked from then on.
After graduating high school in Little Falls, Minnesota in 1918, Charles enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to study engineering. During his second year attending the university, he gave in to his dream of being a pilot. He dropped out of the engineering program in Wisconsin and enrolled in flight school in Lincoln, Nebraska. There, he learned the mechanics of the airplane, how to fly and anything else he needed to know about flying. In 1923, he made his first solo flight. However, his training there did not last as long as he originally hoped. The school shut down, and Lindbergh joined a flying circus. He performed such stunts as walking on the wings of a flying aircraft and parachute stunts under the name “Daredevil Lindbergh”. While a member of the flying circus, he also served as a plane mechanic. He learned about the mechanics of an airplane even more in-depth than he ever could have imagined. This did not last, however, and in 1924 he enrolled in the U.S. Army flying school in San Antonio, Texas. He quickly learned the benefits of studying to pass his classes, and he graduated at the top of his class a year later.
Having graduated flight school and wanting to make a career out of aviation, he got a job as the first air mail pilot between St. Louis and Chicago. This was a particularly dangerous job; thirty-one of the first forty pilots hired to deliver airmail died in crashes. But, being the daredevil he was, Charles welcomed the challenge. The job was also where he first heard of the Orteig Prize, a $25,000 prize offered by Raymond Orteig in 1919 to the first person to fly the distance between New York and Paris. Naturally, this piqued his interest. But before he could attempt the flight, he had to get a plane. This came at great expense and a lot of hard work.