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Draper (Birdie) Personal Papers
SDASM.SC.10039.O/S  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Title: Birdie Draper Personal Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10039.O/S
    Physical Description: 1.25 Cubic Feet This is a two box collection. The first box – containing folders with documents and photographs – measures 12 ¼” x 10 ½” x 5. The second box – containing two posters and a scrap book – measures 24 ½” x 20 ¾” x 3”.
    Date (inclusive): 1936-2005
    Abstract: Birdie Draper was an early female daredevil, pilot and parachute rigger.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

    Preferred Citation

    Please credit the San Diego Air and Space Museum's Library and Archives

    Biographical / Historical

    Birdie Viola Draper was born in 1916 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1937 at the age of 20, Birdie began her training as a parachutist with Stub Chrissinger, an instructor for Hincks flying service. Mr. Chrissinger was one of two licensed parachute riggers in Minnesota at the time. After her training, Birdie joined a stunt group of Thrill Day Performers traveling to State Fairs. She was paired up with Captain F. F. (Bowser) Frakes who was best known for his daring plane crashing stunts. Birdie was recognized for crashing through sixteen sticks of dynamite with her car, as well as solid masonry walls. Her vast array of death defying stunts earned her the name, “The Queen of Daredevils.” By 1940, Birdie completed thirty-five parachute jumps. She retired in 1941 as a daredevil once she received her license as a parachute rigger from the Department of Commerce. Shortly afterwards she took a position as a rigger for Ryan Aeronautical Company. Birdie married George Griffin, a local attorney, and retired from Ryan Aeronautical Company in 1945. Birdie died on November 1, 2005.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The collection was donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

    Scope and Contents

    This is a two box collection. The first box – containing folders with documents and photographs – measures 12 ¼” x 10 ½” x 5. The second box – containing two posters and a scrap book – measures 24 ½” x 20 ¾” x 3”. This collection was organized by material and subject type. The collection covers the life of Birdie Draper as a daredevil stunt performer and parachute rigger from 1936 to 1945. This collection contains posters, a scrapbook album, newspapers, correspondence, logbooks, manuals, and photographs.

    Related Materials

    SDASM Women of Flight Collection

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Women Airforce Service Pilots
    Women in aeronautics
    Women air pilots
    Draper, Birdie, 1936-2005