Carol Simon Levin currently offers the following programs:
Bridge Builder in Petticoats: Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge bridgebuilderinpetticoats.com
Many books and films have featured the Brooklyn Bridge and millions of people have crossed it. Built between 1869 and 1883, without modern machines or even electric light, it was one of the most amazing technological achievements of its time. Yet few people know that a woman helped supervise much of its construction. After her husband was bedridden, Emily Roebling became his liaison to the project – eventually communicating with the engineers and suppliers so well that it was rumored that she had become the Chief Engineer herself! Later she helped design the family mansion in Trenton, studied law, organized relief for returning troops from the Spanish American War, attended the coronation of the Tsar of Russia and even took tea with Queen Victoria. At her death, she was called “the most famous woman in New Jersey” and “one of the most noted women in the country,” yet today almost no one knows her name!
Nobody Owns the Sky: Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Female Aviators
Most people when asked to name early female aviators can name only one name, Amelia Earhart. But long before Amelia Earhart’s famous exploits, female flyers had already proved that aviatrices were every bit as brave and daring as their male counterparts. Flying in flimsy wood and canvas aeroplanes, Aida de Acosta, Raymonde de Laroche, Hélène Dutrieu , Marie Marvingt, Harriet Quimby, Katherine Stinson, Ruth Law, Bessie Coleman and Elinor Smith awed and thrilled people on the ground — executing audacious acrobatic aerial maneuvers, soloing across the English channel, setting records, barnstorming and buzzing beneath New York’s bridges. Undaunted by male skepticism, they were determined to show that anything that men could do, they could do too!
During World War II, more than one thousand women volunteers completed the WASP military pilot training program. They endured terrible Texas weather, snakes, spiders and scorpions, as well as the hostility of some male instructors. Graduating WASPs piloted every kind of military aircraft, tested new and overhauled airplanes (some with defective parts or dangerous reputations), delivered more than 12,000 planes, and flew over 60,000,000 miles (sometimes towing targets that soldiers shot at with live ammunition!) Thirty-eight of them died serving their country. Then they were told that men needed their jobs and they were dismissed and forgotten.
Carol Simon Levin tells the story of the amazing WASPs through the eyes of Ann Baumgartner Carl, the Jersey girl who trained as a WASP, became the only American woman to test-fly experimental planes during the war, and the first American woman to fly a jet airplane!
Please click on the links for more information about these programs. Preview videos are available upon request.
Silent Partner: Building the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo Credit: Patricia Hart Zachman.
“Thank you again for a wonderful program last night! I am still haunted by thoughts of Emily….you made her come so alive…..and I learned more about the Brooklyn Bridge than I thought I would ever know in my whole life!” — Nora, Ocean County Library
“Thank you for presenting a wonderful program that was so informative and enlightening. Your knowledge and creative storytelling fosters uncovering the truth of our past heroines.” — Nancy, Somerset Run Singles
“I was somewhat skeptical when Lilyan invited me to your program. As a pilot for many years I thought that I knew I everything about women pilots. What a surprise. Your program taught me so very much and your presentation was outstanding. I am sending your information to as many women as I can. I know that anyone who attends your program will be as excited as I am.” A.L.
“Fascinating to learn of women who were so successful and we never heard of them!” —W.M.