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Flight Jackets History pt. 1 – We Don’t Talk About Flight Jackets

Strap in and put on your oxygen, we’re taking off on another ambiguously long historical series! Aside from jeans, I can’t think of another garment that tracks the history of the twentieth century better than the flight jacket. Starting in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903 and leading all the way to putting a man on the moon, the garments of aviation had to advance just as quickly as the aircraft themselves.

In our first episode, we get into the prehistory of flight and what people wore when they were strapping chicken feathers on to themselves and serving in the Union Army’s Balloonist Corps in the Civil War.

If you want to hear more AND support the show, please subscribe to Heddels+. We’ve got more episodes as well as exclusive discounts all over the web, giveaways, and you can hang out in our discord chat forum. Get your first month free with the code EXTRABLOWOUT.

  • “Air Balloons in the Civil War (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. Accessed April 6, 2021. https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/air-balloons-in-the-civil-war.htm.
  • Heppenheimer, T. A. First Flight: the Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2003.
  • “Otto Lilienthal.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Accessed April 6, 2021. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Otto-Lilienthal.
  • Otto-Lilienthal-Museum. “Otto-Lilienthal-Museum Anklam.” Lilienthal. Accessed April 6, 2021. http://www.lilienthal-museum.de/olma/esoest.htm.
  • T., Ege Lennart A. Balloons and Airships. New York: Macmillan, 1974.