Photos of 1930s flying tour to Africa to be presented at Owls Head museum

Margery Durant, with pilot Carl LaJotte, at the announcement of her air popularization tour in 1931. Her adventure will be the subject of the presentation “No Dearth on the Nile” on Saturday, March 5, at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Admission is free.
Margery Durant, with pilot Carl LaJotte, at the announcement of her air popularization tour in 1931. Her adventure will be the subject of the presentation “No Dearth on the Nile” on Saturday, March 5, at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Admission is free.
Posted March 01, 2011, at 9:29 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:37 a.m.

OWLS HEAD — Alexander Sanger will present “No Dearth on the Nile” at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. The photo presentation is of his grandmother, Margery Durant’s, air popularization tour across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 1931 and 1932. Admission is free.

Margery Durant was the daughter of William C. Durant, founder of General Motors. Perhaps inspired by her friend Amelia Earhart, the goal of her trip, just three years after Charles Lindbergh’s Atlantic crossing, was to demonstrate that air transportation was feasible, inexpensive and safe. Durant hired veteran aviator Charles LaJotte, who had experience flying everything from “Jennies to tri-motors.”

Along the way, Durant took hundreds of photographs using glass lantern slides and black-and-white film. The photos were discovered about a year ago after sitting in Durant’s caretaker’s attic for more than 50 years. After the caretaker’s death, his sister-in-law in California traced the tail number from a photo of the Lockheed Vega to Margery Durant and then tracked down her grandson, Alex Sanger — all on the Internet.

“No Dearth on the Nile” is the fourth in a series of six Winter Education programs offered by the museum. Admission is free.

Upcoming Winter Education programs are:

-March 19: “Cecil Kimber, John Thornley and MG Automobiles.” The team of Tom Latta, James Lea and Steve Neal will present a brief history of the cars built and raced by MG, featuring cars presently on display in the Museum.  A question-and-answer session will follow, including a discussion of the purchase and restoration of an MG.

-April 2: “Horse-Drawn Vehicles in Maine.” Nick Buck returns to discuss the history, heritage and importance of horsepower in the state of Maine.  Buck will present images from the museum’s and his personal photo collections to illustrate.

For more information, call 594-4418 or visit www.owlshead.org.

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