Here's How Amelia Earhart Stayed Awake During Flights

Transatlantic pilot Amelia Earhart was a true pioneer, and not just in aviation. According to HuffPost, she is also considered the first celebrity fashion designer in the United States. She helped usher in a new wave of sporty women's clothing, popularizing the loose-fitting, comfortable styles she wore when flying. But her trailblazing went beyond what to wear. As Flight Paths notes, she also worked as the aviation editor for Cosmopolitan magazine, writing articles promoting the budding practice of aviation, as well as encouraging other women to fly.

Earhart broke records when she flew across the Atlantic Ocean twice, no easy feat back then. No flight attendants with little bottles of liquor, no bags of peanuts, no in-flight entertainment. She had harrowing near-death experiences. She wrote in her memoir "Last Flight" that on one trip she pulled out of a 3000-foot vertical spin just before crashing into the turbulent seas. The trip wasn't just dangerous, either. It was very long. notes that it took her almost 15 hours to complete the flight. Being able to stay awake and alert enough to keep the plane from plummeting into the ocean for 15 hours would be superhuman without a little psychoactive support. But Amelia Earhart didn't drink coffee or tea to stay awake for so long.

Amelia Earhart huffed her way across the Atlantic

No, Amelia Earhart was no basic office worker who just needed a cup of joe or two to make it to quitting time. She was breaking records, breaking barriers, doing things that hadn't been done before. Her job required something stronger. In fact, according to the World History Project, she wasn't a fan of coffee or tea at all, so on her long haul flight across the Atlantic, she used smelling salts to stay awake. Apart from that, she just had a thermos of hot soup and a can of tomato juice.

Earhart had hoped that the salts and soup would keep her going all the way to Paris, but when she finally landed, she found herself in a pasture somewhere far from a city. A pair of farmers witnessed her landing and asked her how far she'd flown. "From America," she replied. She asked where she was and found out she'd huffed enough ammonia to fly all the way to Northern Ireland. Surely not as nice as a warm cup of coffee, but hey, whatever gets the job done.