Friday Favorites: The Original Jersey Girls

We are celebrating Women’s History Month at MHHM and kicking off with two exciting stories of 19th-century Jersey Girls. These young women followed their dreams and did not listen to the naysayers.

Black and white photograph of a young, smiling woman standing in front of an automobile that looks like a Model T Ford. It has a NJ license plate and she is wearing a full length driving coat.

Alice Ramsey. Photograph Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983) grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 1909, when she was 22-years old, she made a 3,800-mile cross-country car trip in a Maxwell DA, an early automobile made by the Maxwell-Briscoe Company. She and three other women navigated a 59-day road trip to California. At that time, only 152 miles of the 3,800-mile trip were paved roads. You can imagine it what a bumpy ride it was. Alice Ramsey was the first woman inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.


A black and white candid portrait photograph of a young, smiling woman. She is dressed in Victorian clothing and wears a wide-brimmed hat with a feather in it.

Aida de Acosta. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Aida de Acosta (1884-1983) was born in Long Branch, New Jersey into a family of Cuban and Spanish descent. She is remembered as the first woman to fly a powered aircraft solo. This amazing moment in aircraft history happened during a trip to Paris with her family in 1903. Aida was 19 years old when she saw the famous aeronaut, Alberto Santos-Dumont, flying balloons and motorized airships over Paris. After meeting him, Aida took flying lessons from Santos-Dumont. On June 29, 1903, she made the 1 ½ hour solo flight from Paris to Chateau de Bagatella. Even though Aida made history, her mother was concerned for her daughter’s Victorian reputation and possible scandal, so she asked Alberto Santos-Dumont not to disclose her daughter’s name to journalists.


Don’t forget to listen on Facebook Live at noon on Wednesday, March 3, to hear their stories.


To learn more about Alice Huyler Ramsey:

To learn more about Aida de Acosta:

Topic: History
Age / Level: 1, Primary, Elementary