Tuesday, March 11, 2014

BTTC, Edith Foltz & Women's History Month

A Newsletter from the Producer of 
Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby
Newsletter #24
 March 11, 2014

Welcome to the newsletter about: 

Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby (BTTC). 

March is time to celebrate spring which is certainly welcomed by many of us in the eastern United States after a blustery winter. March is also women's history month, a time to celebrate women past, present and future.

Below is some more detailed information on a woman in our past, Edith Foltz, a participant in the derby. She certainly was a pioneer in aviation. Also below are some upcoming events and a few articles I've written recently.

Another sign of spring is the familiar sound of airplanes flying overhead. I'll probably be hunched over my computer working but every now and then I'll be sure to look up and wish blues skies to all, whether you're flying, chasing a dream or just enjoying a ray of sunshine. 

Heather Taylor

Producer of the Award-Winning documentary Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby. An Archetypal Images Production. 
In This Issue
Reviews & Writings
BTTC Events
Edith Foltz: Pioneer in Aviation
BTTC DVD Available
What is BTTC?
Thank you
BTTC Tshirts For Sale

A huge thank you to the 15 people who posted positive reviews on Amazon.com for BTTC (all with 5 stars!). It truly is very helpful. One positive result that has already happened is that an organization called A Mighty Girl has listed BTTC on their site and is promoting it so please keep the good reviews coming. 

I hope to get BTTC into the school system soon, something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm in the very early stages of talking with a new distributor so have high hopes. These companies look at reviews and social media to see what kind of following there is so all support is really helpful. 

Here's the link if you'd like to add a review on Amazon. It can be a single sentence or an entire paragraph: BTTC on Amazon

The Society of Air Racing Historians (SARH) asked me to write an article for their newsletter, which I happily did. It was fun to write some of the more technical aspects of the race. The article was posted in SARH's January/February issue. You can subscribe to the on-line newsletter via this link. Society of Air Racing Historians

A special thanks to Joe Stamm who wrote a wonderful review of BTTC in the SARH newsletter. It's especially gratifying since the members of SARH know a thing or two about air racing Here's the review:

I'm a long-time air race historian and know
all about the Women's Derby, so why would I want
to watch this DVD? Well, at least those were my
initial thoughts, but they couldn't have been more
wrong! This is a wonderful film! I learned a great
deal more about the courageous pilots and the
challenges they faced as well as all the inside stories
of the race. As a nice bonus, the film is masterfully
created and a true joy to watch! This documentary
film is beautifully written, directed and produced by
the talented, award-winning Heather Taylor. It is a
fast-moving, captivating blend of archival and
current flying footage combined with interviews of
notable present-day pilots. The almost two hour
film ended much too quickly for me!

Docs In Progress Fellowship
While I am still deeply involved with a couple projects regarding BTTC, I am also pursuing another documentary. It's still in the embryonic stages so I'm not quite ready to divulge too much yet, thought I certainly will reveal more as it develops. 

To prepare for this new project, I decided to apply to a fellowship program with an organization that helped me with BTTC, Docs in Progress. It is a wonderful non-profit resource which supports independent filmmakers (they recently were awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts). I'm happy to say I was accepted into their 2014 fellowship program which means that throughout the year, I will be collaborating and commiserating with a small group of filmmakers as we help each other on our respective films. We had our first meeting last week and it looks to be an exciting group. 

One of the requirements of the fellowship in to write a blog entry so I volunteered to go first. I wrote an entry called "Building Community." It's based on the women of the derby and how they guided me in building my own community with the film. You can read about it here:http://docsinprogress.org/2014/03/heathertaylor/

More details as it becomes available. Same thing goes for details on the BTTC projects in development. Keep your fingers crossed. 


On March 8th, the Kansas Aviation Museum screened BTTC as part of their Kansas Women in Aviation Day.

March 20th. St. Louis, Missouri
I will be giving a presentation in St. Louis sponsored, in part, by the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronauts. Here's a link to the event:

July 7th. Glen L. Martin Aviation Museum 
near Baltimore, MD. 
I will be giving a presentation about the derby at the Glen L. Martin Aviation Museum in July. Details will be on the museum's pages as the date gets nearer. 

If interested in a screening of BTTC or a presentation, please contact Heather@breakingthroughtheclouds.com

Pioneer in Aviation: Edith Foltz

Edith Foltz earned her pilot's license in 1928; the first woman to earn a pilot's license in Oregon. She later went on to earn her transport license. She wrote in a letter that she got into aviation by accident: I "just happened to buy a long-winged OX5 EagleRock and hired a pilot to barnstorm it. This was in January 1928, and in February the pilot called me ... to bring him a new prop as he had an accident and broke the prop. I immediately drove up to Hood River, Oregon with a new prop and while there decided to go barnstorming with him... The few days turned into a few months and when I returned to Portland I was flying the plane and have been ever since."

Edith flew a Alexander Eaglerock Bullet in the '29 derby. It was the first plane with a retractable landing gear and one of the first low wing ships. Journalists wrote that it looked like a wounded duck flying backwards. Edith says she was "severely criticized by other pilots for flying such a freak of an airplane." However, she said it was fast. She ended up in 2nd place behind Phoebe Omlie in the light class division of the derby.

In 1932 Edith created and obtained a patent for an outfit she designed called the Foltz-Up.  She also won a blue ribbon at the California Exhibition of Inventors Congress. Edith presumably made the outfit so she could change between pants and a skirt while flying. Obviously pants were easier to wear in the early days of aviation but it was still frowned upon for women to wear pants so Edith designed a quick way to convert her skirt to pants and vice versa. Below is a picture of Edith demonstrating the Foltz-Up. 

Edith flew in at least four transcontinental air derbies (always as the sole pilot), earned her transport license and became a flight instructor. She was also the operations manager for Oregon Air Lines in 1938.

By 1942, Edith joined the British Air Transport Auxiliary ferrying fighter jets to the Royal Air Force during WWII. She served from 1942 until 1945.

Later, Edith taught Naval Cadets instrument flying in Corpus Christie, Texas. Sadly, Edith died in 1956. She was only 54 years old yet lived a very full life and contributed so much to aviation. Without question Edith was a pioneer in aviation.

Quick Links for BTTC Social Media

BTTC Facebook Page has the latest updates as they happen
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BTTC TWITTER ACCOUNT: @breakingclouds
Follow us on Twitter

Follow along on more detailed writings on the BTTC Blog

Visit our blog
BTTC You Tube
Please click "like" and/or make comments.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m4pSdKbApAs.  

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BTTC is available on DVD

BTTC March 2013
This Award Winning Documentary is available on DVD. For more information, please visit: http://breakingthroughtheclouds.com 

The inspiring true story of 20 women who raced across America in 1929.   

Follow along as headline aviatrixes Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes, Phoebe Omlie, Bobbi Trout, Louise Thaden and other well known women pilots of the era race across the country in the summer of 1929.

Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby provides over two hours of captivating viewing. The women's personalities shine through with original footage from the derby, much of which has not been seen in over eighty years. 

Beautiful and colorful aerial recreations place the viewer in the pilot's seat. 

Interviews with legendary aviatrixes 
Elinor Smith Sullivan, and Patty Wagstaff, noted aviation historians, and family members of the original pilots 
help bring the story alive. 

Included are 23 minutes of bonus 
discussing the challenges the women faced during the race, what the women wore and more information about the planes & navigation in 1929.  

Available at:
BTTC Cost $30 plus S&H 

*Note:For those who do not like 
to order on-line or use pay pal,you 
may fill out this order form and 
mail a check:

What is Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby?

Breaking Through The Clouds: The 
First Women's National Air Derby is 
an award-winning documentary about  Amelia Earhart and 19 other brave pilots who defied convention by taking to the skies and racing across the country for the first Women's National Air Derby.
With just a compass and a road map to guide them, they faced cultural stereotypes, mechanical failures, threats of sabotage, navigational challenges and endless chicken dinners. Thewomen persevered and became pioneering legends in aviation. Their story is inspiring to anyone who has the courage to follow their own dreams.  

Producer Heather Taylor had a calling to tell this inspiring story in the hopes of helping others to find the courage to search for their own path. While Heather hasn't had to deal with the endless chicken dinners like the women in the derby did, she does face the challenges of an an independent artist.  By spreading the word and supporting the film, you are helping Heather and other struggling artists reach for the sky in their own way and work towards breaking through the clouds. Thank you. 

Heather Taylor, Executive Producer
Archetypal Images, LLC

Join Our Mailing List
If you know someone who would like to receive these newsletter,s please feel free to forward to them and have them join the  mailing list. 

Thank You & 
Ways to Help
BTTC has only been able to succeed because of individual support! It is very much a grassroots effort so I appreciate every single comment, thumbs up, mention and email I receive. It truly keeps me going to know the film touches lives in some positive way.

If you would like to help me keep it going, here are just a few simple (and free) ideas that can make a big difference:
  • Post a positive comment (or thumbs up) on youtube underneath the BTTC clip  
  • Become a Fan of BTTC Face Book Page  
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Forward these newsletters, and/or sign up for my blog
  • Introduce me to contacts who might be interested in screening BTTC  
All links for the social media are below. You can also mention BTTC in your own blog, article, podcast or to friends and colleagues. 

Of course there are a myriad of other ways to help as well. The sky's the limit! If the film has touched you in some way, please feel free to email and let me know. As always, thank you!

BTTC T-shirts Available

Did you know the logo on the t shirts is based on one of the trophies won in the 1929 Derby? You can briefly make out the trophy in the footage on race day in BTTC.  

Black BTTC AND white BTTC t-shirts
are available for purchase. Below is what the front of a black t-shirt looks like. The back hasbreakingthroughtheclouds.com written in the top middle part.  

If you would like a t-shirt, send me an email. The cost is $20 plus postage. Heather@breakingthroughtheclou
BTTC T-shirt (black).  White T-shirts with a black Logo are also available.

*PLEASE NOTE: If you haven't heard a response within a week, chances are 
I did not receive the email. 
You may call me at 
865-242-7551 to follow up, though my preference is email first so I can keep track of the order. Thank you. 
Archetypal Images, LLC | PO Box 1487 | Columbia | MD | 21044

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